Individual-level protective factors for sexual health outcomes among sexual minority youth: a systematic review of the literature
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Individual-level protective factors for sexual health outcomes among sexual minority youth: a systematic review of the literature

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Sex Health
    • Description:
      Although factors associated with negative sexual health outcomes among sexual minority youth (SMY) have been well documented, protective factors have been less studied. This review summarises the current state of science on individual-level protective factors for SMY and identifies gaps to inform future research. A systematic search of non-intervention, empirical peer-reviewed research was conducted. Articles that examined an a priori-identified individual-level protective factor and at least one sexual health outcome in a sample or subsample of SMY aged 10-24 years in Western, industrialised countries were eligible for inclusion. A total of 21 articles that reported data from 13 unique studies met inclusion criteria. Only two studies described findings for young sexual minority women and thus the literature synthesis was limited to studies reporting on young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in the USA. A total of 11 individual-level protective factors were examined. Subjective peer norms and attitudes about condom use were repeatedly protective in cross-sectional analyses. Findings related to self-efficacy, self-esteem and clear and positive identity were more mixed. The findings of this review suggest that attitudes and subjective peer norms related to condom use are promising intervention targets for YMSM. There is a need, however, for longitudinal research to confirm these protective effects and to consider them among other SMY. Moreover, protective factors related to skills and competencies have been insufficiently studied among SMY. Addressing these gaps will help develop a robust body of evidence to inform interventions.
    • Pubmed ID:
      27306719
    • Pubmed Central ID:
      PMC9125408
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