Bottom Line: This study describes how common nonsuicidal self-injury has been over time among sexual minority and heterosexual adolescents. The study used surveillance data for 2005 to 2017 from Massachusetts, the first state to assess sexual orientation (assessed as self-reported sexual identity and same-sex behavior). Among about 21,200 adolescents in grades 9 through 12, rates of nonsuicidal self-injury ranged from 11 percent to 20 percent among heterosexual young people and from 38 percent to 53 percent among sexual minority youth across the study period. Rates may be even higher because of how nonsuicidal self-injury was measured. There is a pressing concern for progress in addressing this public health concern.
Author: Richard T. Liu, Ph.D., Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.
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