Social Ecological Correlates of Family-Level Interpersonal and Environmental Microaggressions Toward Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents

Abstract

Microaggressions are associated with mental and behavioral health problems and are common experiences for sexual and gender minority adolescents (SGMA). Little is known about the social ecological correlates of family-level interpersonal and environmental microaggressions for SGMA. Utilizing a national sample of SGMA (N = 1,177), this study (a) identified the frequencies of family-level interpersonal and environmental microaggressions by participant demographics and (b) examined individual-, family-, and structural-level factors associated with interpersonal and environmental microaggressions. Outness to parents, a transgender or genderqueer identity, and higher levels of gender role non-conformity were associated with higher frequencies of interpersonal microaggressions. Higher levels of family-level child maltreatment and religiosity were associated with higher frequencies of interpersonal and environmental microaggressions. State-level non-discrimination protections were associated with lower frequencies of environmental microaggressions. Suggestions for increased individual-level support for gender non-binary adolescents as well as family targeted preventive strategies are discussed. Areas for future research are highlighted.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Justice (2013-IJ-CX-0029) awarded to University of California, Berkeley. Portions of this paper were presented at the 2017 Annual Conference for the Society for Social Work Research (New Orleans, LA).

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Correspondence to Rachel E. Gartner.

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Gartner, R.E., Sterzing, P.R. Social Ecological Correlates of Family-Level Interpersonal and Environmental Microaggressions Toward Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents. J Fam Viol 33, 1–16 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-017-9937-0

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Keywords

  • Sexual minority
  • Gender minority
  • Adolescence
  • Family violence
  • Microaggressions
  • Minority stress