“LIKE PICKING UP A SEED, BUT YOU HAVEN’T PLANTED IT”: QUEER YOUTH ANALYZE THE IT GETS BETTER PROJECT

Shelley L Craig, Lauren B McInroy, Ramona Alaggia, Lance T McCready

Abstract


Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer [LGBTQ] are at elevated risk of experiencing verbal and physical harassment, as well as an array of negative outcomes, including increased violence and suicidality. The purpose of this study was to solicit input from LGBTQ youth (n = 19) about the strengths, limitations, and influence of an online video project focused on suicide prevention, the It Gets Better Project [IGBP]. Using a grounded theory approach, in-depth interviews were conducted and participant responses were analyzed using ATLAS.ti.6.7. Several major themes regarding participants’ perspectives on the IGBP emerged from the analysis. Participants indicated that they perceived the IGBP as a positive start towards change, with the project drawing attention to the concerning issue of LGBTQ youth vulnerability for increased suicidality. However, they also identified flaws with the content and focus of the project, indicating the campaign requires significant further development to provide tangible resources to youth at risk of suicide. Recommendations are made and discussed to help inform future research and practice efforts.

Keywords


LGBTQ; youth; It Gets Better Project; media; suicide

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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies

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© University of Victoria
Victoria, BC Canada

 

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