NIH Spends $358K to Reduce Health Disparities among LGBTQ Youth of Color

July 1, 2014 - 4:09 PM

Gay Foster Youth

Quincy Wright, right, is hugged by a friend during a breaking the silence gathering at True Colors in Hartford, Conn., Friday, April 19, 2013. True Colors, a non-profit organization working to help the needs of sexual and gender minority youth, has a mentoring program for more than 75 gay foster youth. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

(CNSNews.com) – The National Institutes of Health has awarded $357,783 to the Fenway Community Health Center in Boston, Mass., to reduce health disparities in LGBTQ youth of color.

The purpose of the grant is described as “to establish a sustainable community-based participatory research process to reduce health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth of color.”

According to the grant, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) youth of color abuse alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, engage in risky sexual behaviors, and attempt suicide “in high rates that are disproportionate to those of both white LGBTQ youth and heterosexual youth of color.”

“Such evidence underscores the pressing need for interventions to improve the health of LGBTQ youth of color, many of whom face ‘tricultural’ experiences of stigma: homophobia from their racial/ethnic groups, racism from the majority white LGBT community, and the intersection of homophobia and racism from the culture at large,” the grant said.

The grant proposes that four Boston-based organizations with a long history of collaboration join forces to create a Project Team to “conduct a community needs assessment to identify a priority health condition” in the first year. In the second and third year, the groups will come up with a pilot intervention research study to address that condition.

Community input and support will also be provided to the Project Team by two Community Advisory Boards – one of which will be made up of community program leaders and government representatives. The other Community Advisory Board will be made up of LGBTQ youth of color.

The first part of the community needs assessment will be to compile and review existing data on health disparities and health concerns of LGBTQ youth of color. The second part will be to “conduct a small primary data collection study to gather more detailed information” than the first phase.

The project team will “design and pilot an intervention tailored for LGBTQ youth of color that adapts elements from one or more existing Positive Youth Development evidence-based interventions.”

“The pilot intervention research study will 1) assess the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention through analysis of process evaluation data collected through implementation reports, structure observations, and participant self-assessment questionnaires and 2) evaluate the short-term impact of the intervention using a one group pre- and post-test design to measure changes in Positive Youth Development and health outcomes as assessed via participant self-report,” the grant said.

The project began on Jan. 1, 2013 and ends on Nov. 30, 2015. Funding began on Dec. 1, 2013 and ends on Nov. 30, 2014.

CNSNews.com contacted Judith Bradford, project leader of the grant, for comment, but there was no response by press time.