en
Scientific article
Open access
English

An LGBT youth group's role in building social support and implications for risk behavior

ContributorsDeml, Michaelorcid
Publication date2013
Abstract

This study examined a La Crosse, WI, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) youth program's efficacy in lowering risky behavior due to its role in building social support and connectedness. The relationship between social support and connectedness provided by the youth group program called GALAXY (Gay Alliance of La Crosse Youth) and youth engagement in risky behaviors was examined through surveys and interviews of sexual minority youth currently involved, past participants, and others affiliated with the group. A total of 16 surveys of current participants were conducted. Semi-structured interviews were also completed: 11 with current members, 4 with past members, 2 with GALAXY founders, and 2 with group facilitators. Results indicated a presence of risk behaviors amongst the youth, particularly in relation to substance use. However, group participation was also associated with positive mental health outcomes, lowered suicidal thoughts and attempts, lower instances of depression, and a heightened awareness of safe sexual practices.

Keywords
  • LGBT Youth Group
  • Risk behaviors
  • Social support
  • Sexual minorities
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
DEML, Michael. An LGBT youth group’s role in building social support and implications for risk behavior. In: UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2013, vol. XV.
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
accessLevelPublic
Identifiers
  • PID : unige:149157
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