Towards the prevention of substance use in lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth
Goldbach, Jeremy Thomas
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Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual youth are at increased risk for the use of substances (Moon, Fornili & O’Briant, 2007; Remafedi, 1987), including cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy (Bontempo & D’Augelli, 2002; Corliss, Rosario, Wypij, Wylie, Frazier & Austin, 2010). Currently, no interventions exist designed to meet the needs of LGB adolescents (NREPP, 2011), and little theory exists to explain substance use by LG adolescents. To begin the process of developing tailored interventions, this three-study dissertation sought to: (1) explore the perspectives of LGB youth, and identify their perspectives on unique prevention development, (2) systematically review the empirical literature on culturally based risk factors in LGB youth and to identify most relevant salient themes for testing, and (3) explore the relationship between identified minority related stressors and substance use patterns in a large sample of LGB youth. Findings indicate that LGB adolescents have unique cultural experiences not captured in current prevention programming. Additionally, five constructs from minority stress are described, and their relationship to marijuana use is explained. Future research should focus on the development of better measurement instruments for minority stress in LGB adolescents and the exploration of its impact on behavioral health outcomes.