Research suggests that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth are at an increased risk for both victimization and internalizing mental health problems, a tragic reality also brought to our attention by numerous recent gay teen suicides. Since there hasn't been much research on factors that actually increase LGB youth resilience, IMPACT focused on the benefits of a supportive network of friends and family with this study published in the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services. Our research sample included 425 lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth between 16 to 24 years old. Alarmingly, 94% of our participants reported some form of sexual orientation-related victimization. This study showed that, while support from friends and family did not protect against the bad effects of victimization, it did reduce the overall psychological distress experienced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth.
Chicago area college students participated in this video to share their unique and insightful perspectives.
Film & Editing: Colleen Bersano
Post-production Assistance: Farrin Abbott
Source: Mustanski, B., Newcomb, M., Garofalo, R., (2011). Mental health of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth: A developmental resiliency perspective. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 23 (2), 204-225.