Article| Volume 30, ISSUE 5, P414-423, September 2016

The Whole Family Serves: Supporting Sexual Minority Youth in Military Families

Published:November 17, 2015DOI:


      Sexual minority youth in military families have a unique set of stressors that affect their mental, emotional, and physical health. There is a pronounced gap in data addressing the specific stressors of this population and how they interact to impact the health of the adolescent. The culture of the United States military has historically been heterosexist and homophobic, propelled primarily by policies that restricted the recruitment and service of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals, leading to a continued secrecy around sexual orientation that may affect how sexual minority youth within the community view themselves. Homophobia, social stigma, and victimization lead to significant health disparities among sexual minority youth, and youth connected to the military have additional stressors as a result of frequent moves, parental deployment, and general military culture. Primary care providers must be aware of these stressors to provide a safe environment, thorough screening, and competent care for these adolescents.

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      Ashley N. Gyura, PNP-PC Student, School of Nursing, Columbia University, New York, NY.


      Sabrina Opiola McCauley, Assistant Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing, Columbia University, New York, NY.