Sexual Orientation and Adolescent Substance Use (2008)



Aims: Several decades of research have shown that lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults are at high risk for substance use and substance use disorders (SUDs). These problems may often start prior to young adulthood; however relatively little is known about risk for substance use in LGB adolescents. The primary aims of this paper were to conduct a meta-analysis of the relationship between sexual orientation and adolescent substance use and systematic review and critique of methodological characteristics of this literature.

Results: LGB adolescents reported higher rates of substance use compared to heterosexual youth. Effect sizes varied by gender, bisexuality status, sexual orientation definition and recruitment source.

Conclusion: The odds of substance use for LGB youth were, on average, 190% higher than for heterosexual youth and substantially higher within some subpopulations of LGB youth (340% higher for bisexual youth, 400% for females)

To view the entire review: Sexual Orientation and Adolescent Substance Use

Citation: Marshal, M.P., Friedman, M.S., Stall, R., King, K. M., Miles, J., Gold, M.A., Bukstein, O.G., & Morse J.Q. (2008) Sexual Orientation and Adolescent Substance Use: A Meta-analysis and Methodological Review. Society for the Study of Addiction. 103, 546-556.

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