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LGBT Psychology And Mental Health: Emerging Res...

LGBT Psychology And Mental Health: Emerging Res... >

Adolescence is a developmental time frame within which youth explore their sexuality and for LGBTQI+ youth it will often be the time when they develop understanding of their own sexual and gender orientation. Within the realm of early family relational psychology, Bowlby (1962/1982) discusses changing attachments during the time of adolescence, with a subsequent shift in attachment to peers and social groups other than the family, and to institutions such as school, universities, religious or political groups. Acceptance by these alternative attachment groups is a strong protective factor for sexual and gender minority youth (Higa et al. 2014). The wider ecology of LGBTQI+ youth has a significant effect on their mental health and well-being and feelings of social connectedness to adults gives sexual and gender minority youth resilience in the face of adversity, particularly at the vulnerable developmental stage when they are establishing their sense of personal identity (Difulvio 2011).

For this literature search, several clinical psychology databases were identified to best represent the diverse fields of study relevant to this review, including ASSIA, CINAHL Plus, EMBASE, IBSS, MEDLINE and PsycINFO. With focus on qualitative studies published in the last decade characterized with marked changes of LGBTQI+ legislation, all database searches were limited to articles written in the English language, and published between January 2008 and April 2018. The search focused on international research articles appearing in peer-reviewed journals. Following the initial database search, a Google search and a manual back literature search were conducted in June 2018. The search strategy aimed to identify qualitative research literature on LGBTQI+ youth with particular attention to mental health issues, using Boolean operators and variations of the following keywords: qualitative, LGBT*, youth, young people, adolescent, teenager and mental health.

The field of psychology has extensively studied homosexuality as a human sexual orientation. The American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1952, but that classification came under scrutiny in research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. That research and subsequent studies consistently failed to produce any empirical or scientific basis for regarding homosexuality as anything other than a natural and normal sexual orientation that is a healthy and positive expression of human sexuality.[1] As a result of this scientific research, the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973. [2] Upon a thorough review of the scientific data, the American Psychological Association followed in 1975 and also called on all mental health professionals to take the lead in "removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated" with homosexuality. In 1993, the National Association of Social Workers adopted the same position as the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association, in recognition of scientific evidence.[1] The World Health Organization, which listed homosexuality in the ICD-9 in 1977, removed homosexuality from the ICD-10 which was endorsed by the 43rd World Health Assembly on 17 May 1990.[3]

Beverly Greene is the author of the landmark article "When the Therapist is White and the Patient is Black: Considerations for Psychotherapy in the Feminist Heterosexual and Lesbian Communities." She is a pioneer of intersectional psychology, and her work on heterosexism, sexism, and racism has illuminated how different intersecting facets of a person's identity shape their experiences of privilege, oppression, and mental health. Dr. Greene's work earned her the honor of the Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology in 2008.

Inez Beverly Prosser is considered to be the first Black woman to earn


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