Helping Young People Stay Afloat: A Qualitative Study of Community Resources and Supports for LGBTQ Adolescents in the United States and Canada

Marla E. Eisenberg, Christopher J. Mehus, Elizabeth M. Saewyc, Heather L. Corliss, Amy L. Gower, Richard Sullivan, Carolyn M. Porta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

LGBTQ youth are at increased risk of poor health outcomes. This qualitative study gathered data from LGBTQ adolescents regarding their communities and describes the resources they draw on for support. We conducted 66 go-along interviews with diverse LGBTQ adolescents (mean age = 16.6) in Minnesota, Massachusetts, and British Columbia in 2014–2015, in which interviewers accompanied participants in their communities to better understand those contexts. Their responses were systematically organized and coded for common themes, reflecting levels of the social ecological model. Participants described resources at each level, emphasizing organizational, community, and social factors such as LGBTQ youth organizations and events, media presence, and visibility of LGBTQ adults. Numerous resources were identified, and representative themes were highly consistent across locations, genders, orientations, racial/ethnic groups, and city size. Findings suggest new avenues for research with LGBTQ youth and many opportunities for communities to create and expand resources and supports for this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-989
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Volume65
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01HD078470. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Taylor & Francis.

Keywords

  • Adolescent health
  • North America
  • community
  • gender identity
  • qualitative research
  • sexual orientation
  • social environment

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