We studied sexual orientation disparities in health outcomes among US adolescents by pooling multiple Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data sets from 2005 and 2007 for 14 jurisdictions. Here we describe the methodology for pooling and analyzing these data sets.
Sexual orientation–related items assessed sexual orientation identity, gender of sexual contacts, sexual attractions, and harassment regarding sexual orientation. Wording of items varied across jurisdictions, so we created parallel variables and composite sexual minority variables.
We used a variety of statistical approaches to address issues with the analysis of pooled data and to meet the aims of individual articles, which focused on a range of health outcomes and behaviors related to cancer, substance use, sexual health, mental health, violence, and injury.
- Brian Mustanski and Michelle Birkett are with the Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL. Aimee Van Wagenen is with Fenway Health, Boston, MA. Sandra Eyster is with the American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC. Heather L. Corliss is with the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.