Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and question mark (LGBTQ) adolescents are more likely to end up in nursing homes or unstable homes and suffer from negative results such as substance abuse or mental health problems while living in children's welfare systems according to new research from the University of Texas at Austin. .
In a February 11 paper in the journal Pediatricsresearchers looked at 593,241 young people in California in grades 6-12. Less than 1 percent of the sample lived in care or unstable housing. However, researchers found that more than 30 percent of the studied young people who lived in nursing homes were identified as LGBTQ. More than 25 percent of those surveyed who lived in unstable homes, defined as living with a friend's house, motel, shelter or other transitional residence identified as LGBTQ.
"People have been worried for some time that the LGBTQ youth is over-represented in the child protection system, but there has been little evidence so far," said Stephen T. Russell, president of the Department of Human Development and Family Science at The University of Texas, Austin .
Researchers also found that LGBTQ youths living in nursing homes or unstable homes are more likely to be bullied, suffering from mental health problems, having lower grades, attending school because they felt insecure and have higher levels of drug abuse.
"There has been great concern that the children's welfare system is initially overloaded and that problems such as LGBTQ youth discrimination and their particular needs are an additional complexity for young people who are already vulnerable, just as the definition of being in children's welfare system , "said Russell. "We do not invest enough in the systems and focus enough on the different needs of some of the most vulnerable children, including LGBTQ children."
LGBTQ youths are likely to end up in the nursing home or unstable homes for several reasons, including rejecting their families or running away because they felt insecure, Russell said, but more research is needed to understand why they end up in the fetus system or unstable house.
In an accompanying paper earlier this month that appeared in the magazine Child abuse and neglect, Russell and colleagues looked at a nationally representative sample and found out that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were nearly 2.5 times as likely to end up in the fetus system as their heterosexual peers. Gender identity was not investigated in that study.
Scientists pointed out that only 13 states protect young people in child welfare systems from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Laura Baams of the University of Groningen and Bianca Wilson of the University of California also contributed to the research. The research was supported by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, the Communities of the Just Schools Fund and Priscilla Pond Flawn Endowment at the University of Texas at Austin.
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Child abuse and neglect (2019). DOI: 10,1542 / peds.2017-4211
University of Texas in Austin
LGBTQ youths are over-represented, have poorer results in children's welfare system (2019, 11 February)
February 11, 2019
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