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Disparities in Mental Well-being between Non-Minority and Sexual Minority Male Youth in Bangkok, Thailand: Quantitative Findings from a Mixed Method Study

Sakol Sopitarchasak1, Masahiro Kihara2, Kyaw Min Soe3 & Masako Ono-Kihara2

This paper investigates whether there are differences in mental well-being between non-minority and sexual minority adolescents. We also explore the experiences of victimization among sexual minority adolescents, compared to their non-minority peers. While the study used mixed methods, with an initial qualitative phase and a subsequent quantitative phase, this paper focuses on the quantitative findings. Male students from five secondary schools (n=1,250) in Bangkok were asked to answer an online questionnaire. Among all participants, 81.8% identified themselves as non-minority and 12.5% as sexual minority with 5.7% missing or unidentifiable responses. The results indicated a higher risk of depression for sexual minority participants than for non-minority participants (odds ratio: 1.85). Sexual minority participants were also more likely than their non-minority peers to have considered (23.2% vs. 9.8%) or attempted (10.3% vs. 2.9%) suicide, and to have been victimized and/or experienced sexual coercion during the past semester. The findings conform to results from previous studies worldwide. Although a causal relationship cannot be inferred from this study, the disparity in mental well-being can be due to the victimization that sexual minority adolescents experience more frequently than their non-minority counterparts.

Keywords: Adolescents; Depression; Suicide; Victimization; Sexuality

1 Thai Health Promotion Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2 Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.

3 Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.

 


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