Same sex attraction, homophobic bullying and mental health of young people in Northern Ireland

Case Studies & Research
13 p.
Periodical title
Journal of Youth Studies, 11:1

This article reports on the relationship between same-sex attraction, experience of bullying in school and mental health measured using the 12-item version of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12). A random sample of 16 year olds, drawn from the Child Benefit Register, was invited to take part in the 2005 Young Life and Times survey, which is a postal survey carried out in Northern Ireland every year. Eight hundred and nineteen 16 year olds responded, which represented a return rate of 40%. The results of the survey showed that respondents who said they had been attracted to a person of the same sex at least once were significantly more likely to report experiences of school bullying. Same-sex attracted 16 year olds were significantly less likely than those attracted to persons of the opposite sex only to say that their school provided real help to those who are being bullied. The 2005 Young Life and Times data also indicated that samesex-attracted respondents were more than twice as likely as respondents who were only attracted to people of the opposite sex to have higher levels of psychiatric disorder.

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