The current study sought to investigate the relationship between sexual orientation and nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). This study also includes an examination of coping styles, both maladaptive and adaptive, based on sexual orientation.
Participants included 207 young adults who identified as lesbian/gay, bisexual, or questioning (50.2% female) and a heterosexual comparison group.
A hierarchical logistic regression showed that bisexual and questioning individuals were more likely to report having engaged in NSSI in their lifetime. A chi-square yielded no difference between groups on frequency of NSSI. Multivariate analyses of variance examining maladaptive and adaptive coping strategies demonstrated that bisexual and questioning individuals reported greater use of maladaptive strategies than the heterosexual group; however, there was little difference between groups on adaptive coping.
The relationship between sexual orientation and coping appears to be a complex one, suggesting that bisexual and questioning individuals attempt to use a wide range of coping mechanisms, possibly due to increased stress.
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