A new study in the department of behavioral medicine and psychiatry at West Virginia University’s Charleston Campus has been awarded one of two Maier Foundation Pilot Grants to study identifying predictors of suicidal behaviors, non-suicidal self-injury, and substance abuse among adolescents, ages 13-19, who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB).

Developed by WVU psychology intern Jennifer Poon, MA under the mentorship of Patrick L. Kerr, PhD, associate professor and Chantel Weisenmuller, PhD, assistant professor of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry at West Virginia University’s Charleston Campus, the grant-awarded project will examine the roles that emotion, cognition, and stress associated with being LGB play in the development of these high-risk behaviors.

The data from this study will help inform the future development of prevention strategies for these behaviors in this population.