Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Social Work
Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services
This study explored self-described strengths and strategies for coping with stress among sexual minority women (SMW), drawing on qualitative narratives of sexual minority and heterosexual women who were recruited from a population-based sample. In-depth follow-up qualitative telephone interviews were conducted with 48 women who had participated in the National Alcohol Survey, a U.S. population-based survey. Participants included 25 SMW and 16 matched exclusively heterosexual women. Narrative data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis and constant comparison to explore the study aim, with an emphasis on themes that diverged or that were particularly salient for SMW relative to heterosexual women. Strengths and coping strategies that were especially meaningful in the narratives of sexual minority women emerged in two areas. First, participants described development of intrapersonal strengths through nurturing an authentic sense of self and embracing multifaceted identity. Second, participants described multiple strategies for cultivation of interpersonal resources: navigating distance and closeness with family of origin, cultivating supportive friends and chosen family, connecting to community, finding solace and joy with animals, and engaging in collective action. Findings underscore the importance of considering protective factors that are salient to SMW in developing or refining prevention and intervention efforts.
sexual minority women, qualitative, minority stress, resilience, coping
Laurie Drabble, Karen F. Trocki, Brenda Salcedo, Bobbi R. Morales, and Rachael Korcha. "Strengths and coping strategies in the life narratives of sexual minority women" Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services (2018): 409-429. https://doi.org/10.1080/10538720.2018.1509757