Reducing LGBTQ+ adolescent mental health inequalities : a realist review of school-based interventions

McDermott, Elizabeth and Kaley, Alex and Kaner, Eileen and Limmer, Mark and McGovern, Ruth and McNulty, Felix and Nelson, Rosie and Geijer-Simpson, Emma and Spencer, Liam (2023) Reducing LGBTQ+ adolescent mental health inequalities : a realist review of school-based interventions. Journal of Mental Health. ISSN 0963-8237

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Background LGBTQ+ young people have elevated rates of poor mental health in comparison to their cisgender heterosexual peers. School environment is a key risk factor and consistently associated with negative mental health outcomes for LGBTQ+ adolescents. Aims To examine how, why, for whom and in what context school-based interventions prevent or reduce mental health problems in LGBTQ+ adolescents. Methods A realist review methodology was utilised and focused on all types of school-based interventions and study designs. A Youth Advisory Group were part of the research team. Multiple search strategies were used to locate relevant evidence. Studies were subject to inclusion criteria and quality appraisal, and included studies were synthesised to produce a programme theory. Seventeen studies were included in the review. Results Eight intervention components were necessary to address LGBTQ+ pupils mental health: affirmative visual displays; external signposting to LGBTQ+ support; stand-alone input; school-based LGBTQ support groups; curriculum-based delivery; staff training; inclusion policies; trusted adult. Few school-based interventions for this population group were identified. Conclusions The programme theory indicates that “to work” school-based interventions must have a “whole-school” approach that addresses specifically the dominant cis-heteronormative school environment and hence the marginalisation, silence, and victimisation that LGBTQ+ pupils can experience.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Mental Health
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? psychiatry and mental healthgeneral medicinepsychiatry and mental health ??
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Deposited On:
29 Aug 2023 10:05
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 00:06