As the press and communities interpret research reports, their conclusions may go far beyond a study’s evidence, especially if groups are trying to support politically-motivated claims about controversial causes and solutions to health problems. Few research designs can “prove” cause and effect, especially in population health research. However, some designs are better than others at identifying influences on health. Several strategies can help non-researchers evaluate studies critically. Using these statistics, this paper explores claims that can (and cannot) be made about causes of suicide attempts among gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents, based on current research evidence available.
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