What reduces sexual minority stress? A review of the intervention "toolkit"

J Soc Issues. 2017 Sep;73(3):586-617. doi: 10.1111/josi.12233. Epub 2017 Sep 21.


Sexual orientation health disparities are rooted in sexual minorities' exposure to stress and challenges to effective coping. This paper reviews the "toolkit" of psychosocial interventions available to reduce sexual minority stress effects. A systematic search uncovered 44 interventions that both seek to reduce sexual minority stress at its source in unjust and discriminatory social structures as well as bolster sexual minorities' stigma-coping abilities. These interventions were implemented in a variety of contexts (e.g., education, health care delivery) and utilized heterogeneous modalities to create change (e.g., policy implementation, role-playing activities). They were designed to affect change across structural, interpersonal, and individual levels. The interventions reviewed here, while in early stages of efficacy testing, possess potential for meeting the needs and resources of mental and medical health care providers, policy makers, and other stakeholders who aim to lessen the burden of sexual minority stress and the health disparities it generates.

Keywords: coping; intervention; sexual minority; stigma; stress.