Home > Protective factors for LGBTI+ youth wellbeing: a scoping review underpinned by Recognition Theory.

Ceatha, Nerilee and Koay, Aaron C C and Buggy, Conor and James, Oscar and Tully, Louise and Bustillo, Marta and Crowley, Des (2021) Protective factors for LGBTI+ youth wellbeing: a scoping review underpinned by Recognition Theory. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, (21), 11682. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182111682.

External website: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/21/11682/htm

Considerable research has been undertaken regarding the mental health inequalities experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI+) youth as a consequence of societal and individual prejudice, stigma and discrimination. Far less research has focussed on protective factors that promote wellbeing for this population. A scoping review was conducted using a six-stage methodological framework, and is reported in accordance with the PRISMA-ScR statement. This explored the extent, range and nature of the peer-reviewed, published, academic literature on what is known about the protective factors that promote LGBTI+ youth wellbeing. Six databases were systematically searched applying Population-Concept-Context key inclusion criteria, complemented by contact with authors to identify additional sources, reference checks and hand searches.

Ninety-six individual research records were identified and analysed, drawing from Honneth's Recognition Theory. Interpersonal relations with parents ( = 40), peers ( = 32) and providers ( = 22) were associated with indicators of enhanced wellbeing, as were LGBTI+ community relations ( = 32). Importantly, online ( = 10), faith ( = 10) and cultural ( = 5) communities were potentially protective. Content and thematic analysis highlighted the importance of Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) ( = 23) offering powerful protective opportunities through intersecting interpersonal, community and legal forms of recognition. GSAs enhance allyship by peers and providers ( = 21), facilitate access to LGBTI+ community networks ( = 11) and co-exist alongside inclusive policies ( = 12), curricular ( = 5) and extracurricular activities ( = 1). This scoping review underscores the need to move beyond the predominant focus on risk factors for LGBTI+ youth, which subsequently inform protectionist approaches. It concludes with an appeal to develop mechanisms to apply recognitive justice to policy, practice and, importantly, future research directions. This emphasises the salience of enhanced understandings of inclusion, which is rights-based, universally available and of potential benefit to all.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Open Access, Review, Article
Intervention Type
Prevention, Harm reduction
7 November 2021
Identification #
doi: 10.3390/ijerph182111682

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