Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Dr. Daniel Krauss


LGBTQ+ individuals report disproportionately high rates of depression and suicidal behaviors compared to the general populations, particularly among queer youth. Certain depressive symptoms and symptom clusters, namely hopelessness and self-blame, are predictive of suicidal behavior and outcomes. In contrast, perceived social support may act as a buffer against suicide ideation. The disparity in the rate of queer suicidality may be predicted by higher rates of hopelessness and self-blame, as well as lower rates of perceived social support among depressed queer youth in comparison to depressed non-queer youth. The current study will test this hypothesis using a sample of depressed queer and non-queer college students (n=145).

Results indicate that queer students and non-queer students do not experience significantly different rates of hopelessness, self-blame, or perceived social support. Despite this finding, queer students report significantly higher rates of suicide and self-harm ideation. This suggests that differences in the suicide rate for queer individuals cannot be explained by differences in perceived social support or the manifestation of suicide-related depression symptom clusters. Additionally, depression severity was found to be a weaker predictor of suicide ideation for queer students than for non-queer students. This indicates that suicidality among queer populations may be less connected to experiences of depressive symptoms than it is for cisgender and heterosexual populations. Further research is needed to examine possible suicide predictors and risk factor differences that are unique to queer populations to explain the disparity in suicide rates.