Sexual minority adolescents and affirming experiences: an exploration of messages “It’s ok to be gay”.

Klinefelter, E. (2012) Sexual minority adolescents and affirming experiences: an exploration of messages “It’s ok to be gay”. D.Clin.Psychol. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Section A is a review of the literature pertaining to positive environmental influences on sexual identity development amongst sexual minority (SM) adolescents. Extant research suggests SM adolescents are at risk of adjustment difficulties; there is a dearth of research regarding positive influences on development. Positive influences include micro-­system factors, such as friend and family affirmation, with limited understanding of macro-­system factors.
Section B reports the research study, which took an ecological approach to investigating protective factors in the lives of sexual minority adolescents. It aimed to investigate affirming experiences, exploring whether sexual minority ‘affirming messages’ (AM) are experienced, the process of experiencing AM and their perceived effects. A mixed-method cross sectional design with three phases of qualitative and quantitative data collection was implemented. Phases included a 12 participant focus group, an online survey completed by 107 participants and respondent validation with five participants. Participants reported AM were experienced, but were not accessible enough. AM were less accessible when first considering sexual identity, a time of negative feelings. Participants were actively engaged in seeking AM, most commonly on-line and from friends and least commonly from school. The importance of role models, similar others and self-acceptance was recognised. Results suggested that although AM are not considered accessible enough, they have a positive impact. This has implications for provision of AM within educational settings and the media.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: sexual minority adolescents, sexual identity, identity development
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0712 Developmental psychology > BF0724 Adolescence
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0692 Psychology of sex. Sexual behaviour
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0697 Differential psychology. Individuality. Self
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Mrs Kathy Chaney
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2012 09:26
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2016 05:59

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00