Advancing LGBTQ Health Equity Via Human-Centered Design

Published in: Psychiatric Services, Volume 71, Issue 2, page 109 (February 2020). doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.71201

Posted on RAND.org on February 04, 2020

by Robert W. Coulter, Daniel Siconolfi, James E. Egan, Carla D. Chugani

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Felner et al. conducted a to explore how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people's lived experiences as sexual and gender minorities influenced their substance use in adolescence and young adulthood. Numerous factors at the individual, interpersonal, and structural levels of the socioecological model influenced LGBTQ people's substance use, including using substances to cope with internalized stigma, familial rejection, and structural stigma. Their findings also underscore how social influence and community norms facilitated substance use for LGBTQ young adults. An important finding is that people who identified both as a gender minority (e.g., transgender) and a sexual minority (e.g., LGBTQ) had to cope with twofold minority stressors and socioecological influences that affected their substance use in intersecting ways. This qualitative study supports the mounting quantitative evidence, that substance use by LGBTQ youths and young adults is influenced by complex, multilevel interacting factors.

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