Friday, January 24, 2014

Disparities in Safety Belt Use by Sexual Orientation Identity Among US High School Students | American Journal of Public Health

From: Children's Safety Network

Objectives: We examined associations between adolescents’ safety belt use and sexual orientation identity.

Methods: We pooled data from the 2005 and 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (n = 26 468 weighted; mean age = 15.9 years; 35.4% White, 24.7% Black, 23.5% Latino, 16.4% other). We compared lesbian and gay (1.2%), bisexual (3.5%), and unsure (2.6%) youths with heterosexuals (92.7%) on a binary indicator of passenger safety belt use. We stratified weighted multivariable logistic regression models by sex and adjusted for survey wave and sampling design.

Results: Overall, 12.6% of high school students reported “rarely” or “never” wearing safety belts. Sexual minority youths had increased odds of reporting nonuse relative to heterosexuals (48% higher for male bisexuals, 85% for lesbians, 46% for female bisexuals, and 51% for female unsure youths; P < .05), after adjustment for demographic (age, race/ethnicity), individual (body mass index, depression, bullying, binge drinking, riding with a drunk driver, academic achievement), and contextual (living in jurisdictions with secondary or primary safety belt laws, percentage below poverty, percentage same-sex households) risk factors.

Conclusions: Public health interventions should address sexual orientation identity disparities in safety belt use.

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