Factors associated with the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth were qualitatively examined to better understand how these factors are experienced from the youths' perspectives. Largely recruited from LGBTQ youth groups, 68 youth participated in focus groups (n = 63) or individual interviews (n = 5). The sample included 50% male, 47% female, and 3% transgender participants. Researchers used a consensual methods approach to identify negative and positive factors across 8 domains. Negative factors were associated with families, schools, religious institutions, and community or neighborhood; positive factors were associated with the youth's own identity development, peer networks, and involvement in the LGBTQ community. These findings suggest a pervasiveness of negative experiences in multiple contexts, and the importance of fostering a positive LGBTQ identity and supportive peer/community networks. Efforts should work towards reducing and eliminating the prejudicial sentiments often present in the institutions and situations that LGBTQ youth encounter.
Keywords: gay; lesbian; well-being; youth.