The article under critical analysis is Negative and positive factors associated with the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth by Higa et al. published in 2014. The authors of this study focus on the negative and positive factors that affect the well-being of the LGBTQ youth. The authors conduct a study, through which, they aimed to gain insight into the well-being of this youth. The study was qualitatively geared. The importance of this study was to offer insight into the perspective of these lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth. The authors recruited these youth groups to participate in of this study. The total number of participants was 68 youths (Higa et al., 2014).
Nevertheless, the number of those who took part in the focus groups were 63 while only five of them too part in the individual interviews. The total sample of participants was wide. The reason behind this is that the authors were able to get 3 percent of transgendered participants as well as 47 percent females and 50 percent males.
Notably, the researches made use of consensual methods approach not only to identify the negative factors but also the positive ones. These factors are those the authors wanted to determine running across eight domains. The study focused on exploring the social aspects involved in these factors. The negative factors included schools, families, community, religious institutions as well as the neighborhoods (Gibbs & Goldbach, 2015). On the other hand, the positive factors are those that focused on the identities of these youths, more so, the development of their identities, their peer networks as well as their involvement within their community, namely, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning community.
The findings of the study depicted the increased levels of pervasiveness among the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youths, more so, in the negative experiences in various contexts. Besides this, the findings also showed that there was great importance in fostering a unique and positive lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning identity as well as supportive community and peer networks (Snapp, Watson, Russell, Diaz & Ryan, 2015). The importance of this is that the efforts work in helping to reduce as well as to eliminate the judgmental sentiments that these youths normally face and are presented with not only in the institutions but also in the situations that they encounter regarding the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning community and their identities.
The authors present understanding that LGBTQ youths not only have a higher vulnerability to many health issues but also to mental health as well as social issues. Some of these issues include sexually transmitted diseases, eating disorders, homelessness, forced sex, school hardships, violence as well as suicide (Craig & Smith, 2014). The major issue is that these negative outcomes mainly emanate because these individuals are minorities in the community as well as they are not yet citizens or rather, they have a minority status on them. The most intriguing thing, in the worst way, is the continued occurrence, that leads not only to increased levels of discrimination but also isolation and marginalization, which result from them being associated with the LGBTQ community and identifying as members of this community. In spite of there is an increase in the levels of acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning people within the United States of America, being a youth who identifies among the sexual minorities has its own given set of difficulties, which are highly geared towards the issues and matters of heterosexuality.
The authors' aim in studying this particular subject was to gain sufficient, broad and deep insight into the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth. The authors focused on eliciting the descriptions not only of the negative life factors facing them but also of the positive ones (Higa et al., 2014). The authors used the qualitative analysis methods in this particular study. Besides this, the authors also provide insight into the contexts relating to these negative and positive factors as well as the contexts they happen. A good innate understanding and insight into these negative and positive factors may provide the needed help in identifying the relevant elements that will help towards the establishment not only for effective health but also for the prevention of mental health issues among this generation and population (Heck, Lindquist, Machek & Cochran, 2014).
One of the major focuses of the authors was to include the identification of the positive factors, which can be used not only by high school educators but also by high school administrators to enhance the physical and the mental health among these youths (Heck, Lindquist, Machek & Cochran, 2014). Besides this, the authors desired to understand the negative effects, which might affect the physical and the mental health of these individuals to ameliorate the services that will help in ensuring the reduction of the challenges that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youths face.
The authors used the University of Washington's Institutional Review Board to approve every single procedure in this study (Higa et al., 2014). Notably, the authors did not require parental consent from the participants for them to participate. To this effect, the participants participated.
Consequently, the authors recruited participants who were aged between 14 years to 19 years old. These individuals were not only English speakers, but also they understood English. Besides this, these individuals were those who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning one's gender identity or one's sexual identity (Higa et al., 2014). To this effect, the authors majorly recruited their study participants from the LGBTQ youth groups that are found within the Washington state. Besides this, the authors also recruited from Gay-Straight Alliances that are found within the schools located in this particular state.
Also, it is important to note that the five youths who were participated in individual interviews were those youths who due to some circumstances were unable to participate in the focus groups (Higa et al., 2014). Thus, due to their desires in being included in the study, they partook through individual interviews.
Besides this, the authors were focused on ensuring that the participants covered different diversity factors. To this effect, 42 percent of their participants were White, while 35 percent of the participants were multiracial (Higa et al., 2014). Besides this, the remaining 23 percent of them came from different races as well as ethnic categories. Notably, 6 percent of them identify as African American while a similar percentage identify as Latino/a.
On the other hand, 60 percent of them live with their parents while 15 percent live with their roommates/friends. Nine percent of the participants live with other members of their family while 10 percent live in other living circumstances (Higa et al., 2014). Lastly, 6 percent of the participants were homeless.
The authors used the focus groups as the basic method through which they collected data that would help in stimulating discussion as well as taking advantage of the dynamics involved in the processes of the groups. They also used qualitative methods including focus groups, since these are ideal when dealing with a large sample. Besides this, these methods also help in digging in more deeply into the given subject of interest (Higa et al., 2014). Hence, through this, the researchers were able to gain more insight and a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding them. The importance of focus groups in the study was to help the authors gain efficient as well as in-depth interviews at a more cost-effective option. The reason behind this is that other qualitative, as well as quantitative methods, are not cost effective nor do they help in gaining a deeper insight into the topic.
To this effect, the authors carried out nine focus groups. Eight of these focus groups took part while in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning youth-focused agencies. The last one took place in the Gay-Straight Alliance. Besides this, the authors conducted these focus groups not only in midsized cities but also in smaller towns that are located outside the core of the LGBTQ urban community programs located in Seattle (Higa et al., 2014). The reason that the authors sought youths from these locations is that they do not have the same access level to community support programs that other Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning youth located in urban centers have. Also, the authors gave each of the participants $15 cash for taking part in the study. They also served them with snacks. Before the study begun, the research stuff ensured that they read the consent information statement to every participant besides providing them with their copies. The youths were also offered the chance and choice to leave if at one point they felt or rather, they decided that they did not want to continue taking part in the research study. However, none of the youths left.
Finally, the findings, as well as the interpretations of the authors, had several limitations. One of them includes the differences not only in perspectives but also experiences in the recruited individuals within the LGBTQ group. Besides this, the sample that the authors chose is not a complete representation of the experiences of other youths located in other geographical areas. Ultimately, the findings of the authors provided a clear insight into the issues that these youths face both positive and negative factors.
Craig, S. L., & Smith, M. S. (2014). The impact of perceived discrimination and social support on the school performance of multiethnic sexual minority youth. Youth & Society, 46(1), 30-50.
Gibbs, J. J., & Goldbach, J. (2015). Religious conflict, sexual identity, and suicidal behaviors among LGBT young adults. Archives of suicide research, 19(4), 472-488.
Heck, N. C., Lindquist, L. M., Machek, G. R., & Cochran, B. N. (2014, March). School Belonging, School Victimization, and the Mental Health of LGBT Young Adults: Implications for School Psychologists. In School Psychology Forum (Vol. 8, No. 1).
Higa, D., Hoppe, M. J., Lindhorst, T., Mincer, S., Beadnell, B., Morrison, D. M., ... & Mountz, S. (2014). Negative and positive factors associated with the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Youth & Society, 46(5), 663-687.
Snapp, S. D., Watson, R. J., Russell, S. T., Diaz, R. M., & Ryan, C. (2015). Social support networks for LGBT young adults: Low-cost strategies for positive adjustment. Family Relations, 64(3), 420-430.
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