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Objective: Health problems of gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) youth are reported as differing from those of heterosexual youth. Increased depression, suicide, substance use, homelessness, and school dropout have been reported. Most studies of GLB youth use clinical or convenience samples. The authors conducted a community school-based health survey that included an opportunity to self-identify as GLB.

Method: An anonymous self-report health care questionnaire was used during a community-based survey in 2 high schools in an upper middle class district.

Results: Significantly increased health risks for self-identified GLB youth were found in mental health, sexual risk-taking, and general health risks compared with self-identified heterosexuals, but not in health domains associated with substance abuse, homelessness, or truancy.

Conclusions: Self-identified GLB youth in community settings are at greater risk for mental health, sexual risk-taking, and poorer general health maintenance than their heterosexual peers. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry, 1999, 38(3):297-304.

Copyright 1999 (C) American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry