Promoting the Successful Development of Sexual and Gender Minority Youths

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Because of societal discomfort with atypical expressions of sexual orientation and gender identity, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youths have experienced enhanced developmental challenges compared with their heterosexual peers.A recent special issue of the American Journal of Public Health delineated how social stigma affecting LGBT youths has resulted in a wide range of health disparities, ranging from increased prevalence of depression and substance use to downstream effects, such as an increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease when older.We review the clinical significance of these findings for health care professionals, who need to become informed about these associations to provide better care for their sexual and gender minority youth patients, and to be able to educate their parents and other caregivers.

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