Abstract for: Sexual and Gender Minority Youth in Foster Care Model Based On Minority Stress Theory

SGMY (Sexual and Gender Minority Youth) in the United States foster care system encounter a system unable to provide the care and support that they need. SGMY include those who youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, or gender non-conforming. MST (Minority Stress Theory) articulates how sexual minority-related stressors interact between multiple levels from distal stress processes (e.g., discriminatory laws and policy) to proximal stress processes (e.g., rejection, internalized homophobia) to increase the burden of mental health problems among SGM. MST identifies sources of SGM-specific stressors in the interpersonal, institutional, and larger structural realms, linking sources of minority stress to individual appraisal of stressful events and stress-coping responses and connecting them to negative mental and physical health outcomes. The use of SD for theory development has precedence 15 and work has been done within various social welfare fields to convert linear theories into feedback perspective. In this project, SGMY over-representation in the foster care system and disproportionate health outcomes are explained using the MST and SD. CLDs are developed to identify loops around psychological comorbidities and protective factors. The insights attained will be used to suggest improvement in child welfare policies.