Efficacy of Supports Available to Marginalised Sexual Minority Youth Through an Attachment Theoretical Lens

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Hedayatipoor, Naseem
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The prevalence of homeless youth in Canada has been increasing with over 30,000 youth homeless, and Indigenous and sexual- and gender-minority youth being overrepresented. A disparity exists amongst marginalised sexual-minority youth (MSMY) who experience bullying, victimisation, mental health challenges, and homelessness disproportionately to their cis gendered peers. The author drew on existing literature to examine the unique needs of MSMY who are street involved, homeless, and/or transient and the efficacy of available community supports through an attachment theoretical lens. Common themes that the author synthesised from the literature are levels of victimisation, prevalence of relational and social trauma, cultural needs, and protective factors of sexual-minority youth (SMY). The findings suggest that systemic discrimination (i.e., sexism, racism), organisational systems (i.e., school systems, governments), adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and relational trauma, and the lack of natural supports are associated with poor outcomes for MSMY. However, accessibility to resources, communities' acceptance, collaboration amongst professionals, and therapeutic tools such as affirmative cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness interventions are associated with positive health outcomes. The literature review reveals a gap in research on MSMY in Canada, and further research in this area is warranted. Lastly, the author makes recommendations based on empirical findings and suggestions for future research.
sexual minority youth or adolescent , marginalization , childhood trauma , attachment theory , relational trauma , mental health , sexual minority victimization
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess