DOI: 10.1111/sltb.13026 ISSN: 0363-0234

Suicide‐related disclosure patterns among culturally minoritized youth: Examining differences across race, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation

Ki Eun Shin, Angela Page Spears, Renjie Zhang, Christine B. Cha
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Clinical Psychology



Sharing one's suicidal thoughts and behaviors, or suicide‐related disclosure, allows adolescents to recruit help from others. Despite elevated risk among culturally minoritized youth, their suicide‐related disclosure remains understudied.


191 adolescents (M = 15.98, SD = 1.04, range = 13–17), including minoritized youth (38% racially, 19% ethnically, 40% gender, and 77% sexually), were recruited via social media ads and completed an anonymous online survey on suicide‐related disclosure to informal support sources (e.g., family, friends). Disclosure rates, targets, and reasons for disclosure and nondisclosure were compared based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation.


Racially minoritized adolescents less often disclosed suicidal ideation and more strongly endorsed fear of negative reactions and resistance to intervention as reasons for nondisclosure, and reciprocity as reasons for disclosure, than White adolescents. Cisgender adolescents less often disclosed suicidal ideation and more strongly endorsed dismissal of suicide risk as reasons for nondisclosure than gender minoritized adolescents. Non‐Hispanic adolescents more strongly endorsed help‐seeking as reasons for disclosure than Hispanic adolescents. While adolescents overall disclosed most often to friends, heterosexual adolescents disclosed more to family than sexually minoritized adolescents.


Racial and gender disparities in suicide‐related disclosure may occur for distinct reasons among adolescents. Uncovering patterns of disclosure may facilitate detection of suicide risk among minoritized youth.

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