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Resilience and Protective Factors, Youth

The purpose of this entry is to describe research that investigates how protective factors and resiliencies are associated with the health of sexual-minority youth (SMY; including people under age 18 who self-identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual [LGB] or have same-sex attractions or behaviors). This entry focuses on four positive health outcomes: reduced mental health problems (e.g., depressive symptoms, self-harm), lower substance use (i.e., licit and illicit drug use), less victimization, and lower risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Protective factors are generally defined as attributes associated with positive outcomes, while resilience is a process in which factors help youth overcome adversity, thereby promoting healthy adaptation. Both concepts focus on how assets and resources assist youth in achieving and maintaining positive health outcomes. ...

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