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University of Michigan School of Information


Online Mental Health, Substance Use, and Sex Education Resources for LGBTQ+ Young People

Stigma, discrimination, and other factors put lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual and gender minority young people at increased risk for negative health outcomes. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) youth use the internet as a vital resource for finding health information. Many LGBTQ+ youth do not receive comprehensive and inclusive education in schools and cannot turn to other traditional resources such as adults or friends. In this research project, we investigate the information practices of LGBTQ+ youth to understand how they use online resources to meet their health education information needs, particularly related to three primary areas: mental health, substance use, and sex education. We will also investigate the specific role played by social media when searching for these types of health information. Understanding the role of the internet and social media in the online health education information practices of LGBTQ+ youth will inform how to best meet their information needs. The research will directly inform the creation of one potential web resource that can directly benefit LGBTQ+ youth by providing comprehensive health education information.


Principal Investigator: Oliver Haimson

Co-investigators: Daniel Delmonaco, Gary Harper, Amber Hughson, Laura Jadwin-Cakmak, Elliot Popoff

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The amount of the award is $2,000 for the project period. The grant is funded by the National Center for Institutional Diversity.