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Am J Public Health. 2014 Feb;104(2):206-10. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301546. Epub 2013 Dec 12.

Raising sexual minority youths' health levels by incorporating resiliencies into health promotion efforts.

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All authors are with the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.


Myriad health inequities that sexual minority youths (SMYs) experience have been documented over the past several decades. Evidence demonstrates that these are not a result of intrinsic characteristics; rather, they result from high levels of adversity that SMYs experience. Despite the pervasive marginalization that SMYs face, there is also evidence of great resilience within this population. It seems likely that if a culture of marginalization produces health inequities in SMYs, a culture of acceptance and integration can work to produce resiliencies. We have described how promoting forms of acceptance and integration could work to promote resilient SMYs despite an overarching culture of marginalization. Building on SMYs' resiliencies may potentiate the effectiveness of health promotion interventions to reduce health disparities within this population.

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