Improving Well-Being and Outcomes for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth

Several AIR authors contributed to Improving Emotional & Behavioral Outcomes for LGBT Youth: A Guide for Professionals, released by Brookes Publishing in honor of LGBT Pride Month. The book offers tangible strategies for professionals in youth-serving systems such as child welfare, education, juvenile justice, and behavioral health to advance those systems’ capacities to improve outcomes for LGBT youth and their families.

LGBT Pride Month
June is national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, in which individuals who identify as LGBT and their allies are recognized for the difficulties they often face, such as bullying, stigmatization, and disparities in access to equitable care.

This year, the White House is leading the celebration with its LGBT Pride Month Champions of Change Video Challenge to promote the stories of LGBT advocates around the country. In addition to providing an opportunity to better understand and value LGBT culture, this month reminds us of the disparities in access to equitable care and other challenges that LGBT youth and their families, as well as youth in LGBT-headed families, continue to experience in child welfare, education, juvenile justice, and behavioral health services.

Problems Faced by LGBT Youth
Research documents that LGBT youth may experience physical and emotional bias, violence, and discrimination at home, or in their schools and communities because of their LGBT identity (Reis & Saewyc, 1999; Hunter & Schaecher, 1987; Reis, 1990). This, along with other challenges, such as rejection from families, contributes to negative outcomes such as depression, self-harming behavior, and homelessness (Ryan, 2009; Ryan, Huebner, Diaz, & Sanchez, 2009; Ray, 2006).

LGBT youth are two to three times more likely than other youth in the United States to attempt suicide. They also experience various challenges in their school experiences including unwelcoming and unsupportive learning environments with adults and peers who stigmatize them (Almeida, Johnson, Corliss, Molnar, & Azrael, 2009; Greytak, Kosciw, & Diaz, 2009).

AIR’s Contribution to the Book
Improving Emotional & Behavioral Outcomes for LGBT Youth: A Guide for Professionals, from Brookes Publishing, provides a road map to practices, interventions, and policies that will make a positive difference for LGBT youth and their families. It equips readers with the latest research findings, specific practice, and policy recommendations, and reliable Internet resources to help professionals support young people who are LGBT and their families as they achieve positive mental health and become increasingly resilient.

AIR staff made major contributions to this book:

  • Jeff Poirier was co-editor and contributed to five chapters including one on improving school experiences for LGBT youth. 
  • Karen Francis and Ken Martinez contributed to a chapter on providing culturally and linguistically responsive services. 
  • Kim Helfgott co-authored a chapter on standards of care for LGBT youth. 
  • Coretta Mallery co-authored a chapter on sexual identity development with Jeff Poirier.

Improving Emotional & Behavioral Outcomes for LGBT Youth: A Guide for Professionals is a timely and urgently needed guide to evidence-based, family-driven, youth-guided, and culturally and linguistically competent practices and policies. It offers professionals in youth-serving systems tangible strategies to advance systems that improve outcomes for LGBT youth and their families.

References
Almeida, J., Johnson, R. M., Corliss, H. L., Molnar, B. E., & Azrael, D. (2009). Emotional distress among LGBT youth: The influence of perceived discrimination based on sexual orientation. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38(7), 1001-1014.

Greytak, E. A., Kosciw, J. G., & Diaz, E. M. (2009). Harsh realities: The experiences of transgender youth in our nation’s schools. New York: GLSEN. Retrieved from http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/news/record/2388.html

Hunter, J., & Schaecher, R. (1987). Stresses on gay and lesbian adolescents in schools. Social Work in Education, 9(3), 180-189.

Ray, N. (2006). Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth: An epidemic of homelessness. New York: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute and the National Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved from http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/reports/HomelessYouth_ExecutiveSummary.pdf

Reis, B. (1999). They don’t even know me: Understanding anti-gay harassment and violence in schools. Seattle: Safe Schools Coalition of Washington State. Retrieved from http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/safe.html

Reis, B., & Saewyc, E. (1999). Eighty-three thousand youth: Selected findings of eight population-based studies as they pertain to anti-gay harassment and the safety and well-being of sexual minority students. Seattle: Safe Schools Coalition of Washington State.Retrieved from http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/safe.html

Ryan, C. (2009). Helping families support their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) children. Washington, DC: National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. Retrieved from http://www11.georgetown.edu/research/gucchd/nccc/documents/LGBT_Brief.pdf

Ryan, C., Huebner, D., Diaz, R. M., & Sanchez, J. (2009). Family rejection as a predictor of negative health outcomes in white and Latino lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults. Pediatrics, 123(1), 346-352. Retrieved from http://pediatrics, aappublications.org/content/123/1/346.full.pdf

Event Information

June 12, 2012
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM