Social Support, Depression, Self-Esteem, and Coping Among LGBTQ Adolescents Participating in Hatch Youth

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Evidence-based interventions that increase social support have the potential to improve the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth. Hatch Youth is a group-level intervention that provides services four nights a week to LGBTQ youth between 13 and 20 years of age. Each Hatch Youth meeting is organized into three 1-hour sections: unstructured social time, consciousness-raising (education), and a youth-led peer support group. Youth attending a Hatch Youth meeting between March and June 2014 (N = 108) completed a cross-sectional survey. Covariate adjusted regression models were used to examine the association between attendance, perceived social support, depressive symptomology, self-esteem, and coping ability. Compared to those who attended Hatch Youth for less than 1 month, participants who attended 1 to 6 months or more than 6 months reported higher social support (β1-6mo. = 0.57 [0.07, 1.07]; β6+mo. = 0.44, 95% confidence interval [CI; 0.14, 0.75], respectively). Increased social support was associated with decreased depressive symptomology (β = −4.84, 95% CI [−6.56, −3.12]), increased self-esteem (β = 0.72, 95% CI [0.38, 1.06]), and improved coping ability (β = 1.00, 95% CI [0.66, 1.35]). Hatch Youth is a promising intervention that has the potential to improve the mental health and reduce risk behavior of LGBTQ youth.

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