The concept of risk behaviors became a model for public health interventions in the late 1970s and 1980s. This chapter describes contemporary knowledge on the risk behaviors of gender and sexual minority (GSM) persons. It highlights research findings, with particular attention paid to studies of different GSM subgroups, and evaluates interventions that have sought to modify behaviors in the pursuit of better health outcomes. The chapter then focuses on the potential contributions of other theoretical frameworks to the study of GSM risk behaviors, including opportunities to incorporate disclosure, resilience, intersectionality, and minority stress theories. It also presents recommendations for future directions for researching health risk behaviors among GSM persons, addressing the risk of harming GSM populations, and diverting attention and resources from addressing justice and social determinants of GSM health. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future research and interventions in support of more equitable health outcomes.
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As in the non-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, gender and sexual minority (GSM) individuals who are also members of one or more racial/ethnic minority populations face unique sociocultural dynamics that impact the ability to achieve and maintain health. This chapter describes the literature that has examined racial/ethnic disparities in a variety of outcomes, and describes what is known regarding the actual impact of intersectionality whenever possible. Reflective of the current literature, the chapter centers on the African American and Hispanic sexual minority male population, HIV, substance use, and mental health as outcomes. It begins with an exploration of barriers to health that reach across outcomes and populations and discusses four specific outcomes with more developed bodies of literature (HIV/sexual health, substance use, mental health/suicide, and victimization). Finally the chapter summarizes the initial evidence from three emerging lines of inquiry (chronic conditions, incarceration, and women’s health).
Using Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory, this chapter highlights the unique strengths and challenges faced by gender and sexual minority (GSM) youth and highlights future directions for research that we believe hold promise in promoting the health and well-being of this special population. It presents a review of the research as applied to physical and mental health disparities that impact GSM youth and discusses the two dominant psychosocial models that explain the contributing factors to these disparities. Notably, public opinion has been shifting toward greater acceptance and inclusion of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and the 21st century has seen a large increase in the number of protections and rights afforded to GSM individuals. Future research should continue to examine and replicate the impact of minority stress in more recent cohorts of GSM adolescents to determine whether improvements in the social environment result in decreases in health disparities.
- Go to chapter: Recommendations for Practitioners for Providing Competent Care to Gender and Sexual Minority Individuals
Recommendations for Practitioners for Providing Competent Care to Gender and Sexual Minority Individuals
Research on the health and health care needs of gender and sexual minority (GSM) people is burgeoning, in part due to increased awareness of the importance of identifying the health care needs of these long-neglected populations. This increase in knowledge related to GSM health is a critical part of improving the quality of GSM people’s health and health care. This chapter considers how practitioners might integrate existing knowledge about GSM health into their clinical work to establish an affirmative context for GSM patients. More contemporary approaches take a more process-oriented view, focused on the appreciation of cultural differences at personal, professional, organizational, and societal levels. These approaches place greater emphasis on training clinicians to think critically about how patients’ cultural backgrounds and identities impact their life experiences. The authors draw on these approaches to provide practical recommendations for providers to deliver competent care to GSM individuals.
This concluding chapter summarizes the major points regarding elder abuse (EA) presented in the preceding chapters. It concludes the chapter by taking one last opportunity to encourage exploration and initiation of system-level efforts to solve a major public health problem. The socioecological framework for violence prevention utilized within domestic and global public health work is applicable and extendable to EA. Throughout this book, the authors have argued that EA is a public health problem and that EA may well be among the most under-recognized and under-resourced population health problems of the early 21st century. Public health has frameworks, tools, approaches, relationships, structures, systems, and a variety of agents and organizations poised to address the problem of EA. The imprimatur of the growing population of older adults and the character of demographic transitions occurring globally provide the perfect rationale for action—now.
The obesity epidemic is even more pronounced in rural America, and is a growing concern as rural adults and children are now more likely to be obese than urban adults and children. People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for chronic disease and conditions such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and some types of cancers. For women, obesity also is associated with complications of pregnancy, menstrual irregularities, hirsutism, and psychological disorders such as depression. Stress has been linked to obesity in adults and in children, and rural residents are continually subject to the stresses of poverty, limited access to health care, and geographical and social isolation. In rural communities, community organizations and families need to come together to identify common goals related to obesity prevention and identify and mobilize human and community assets to implement strategies they believe will work for their community.
This chapter provides new data and a critical look at the comparative assessment of different ethnic groups’ overall levels of savings given their different experiences in the labor market. It focuses on how employers differentially treat minorities to their disadvantage with a multiple regression analysis that identifies the independent negative impact of being a minority on retirement sponsorship and pension plan participation. Minorities have lesser access to employer-sponsored retirement plans because they are particularly affected by the substitution of defined benefit (DB) plan coverage for less secure and less comprehensive defined contribution (DC) plans. Social Security is an important source of retirement income for all Americans. Minorities are disproportionately employed in lower-paid industries and occupations, which have lower rates of retirement account coverage. Qualitative research and interdisciplinary collaborative studies of minority retirement behavior have emerged.
Migrant farmworkers are a distinct population within rural public health. This chapter considers the demographics, health behaviors, health conditions, access barriers, and programs and resources for the mobile poor population. Migrant and seasonal farmworker health issues that warrant special consideration include those related to occupational and environmental health, infectious diseases, mental and behavioral health, food insecurity, housing, and oral health. Present programs in health and education available to migrant farmworkers reach only a minority of farmworker families and need expansion as well as enhancement. Primary care services will be most effective when patient-centered care is coupled with outreach efforts and preventive health coverage. Cancer care, palliative care, and end-of-life care are areas in need of thoughtful program implementation. Public health practitioners and planners will be assisted by understanding the agricultural labor force in their region of concern, and the available resources for social and health services.
- Go to chapter: What Does Knowing About Genetics Contribute to Understanding the Health of Minority Elders?
This chapter discusses the identification of individual differences in health behaviors and health status among minorities. Sickle cell disease (SCD), a genetic disorder, may serve as an optimal model for understanding issues of aging in minority populations. SCD is an important model of multifactorial conceptualization of genetic-based chronic disease among aging populations. Generally, molecular genetic methodologies are called to mind when people consider the role of genetic factors in health and disease. Behavioral genetic methods will be particularly useful if one begins studying minorities from the perspective that there is significant heterogeneity within populations of minorities. Conceptual and methodological discussions of heterogeneity within minority populations are particularly timely given the changing sociodemographic features of ethnic/racial populations related to health disparities. Socioeconomic status and education have been found to be important variables associated with the development of chronic illness.
This chapter focuses on the following topics: demography, gender, age at diagnosis/onset of cardiovascular disease (CVD), Medicare usage, work and retirement, social support, social context and neighborhoods, ethnography of families, qualitative research, and social policy. These topics constitute some of the key areas that should be the focus of future research on the sociology of minority aging. The chapter provides a rich description of trends in the ethnic and racial composition of older cohorts to illustrate the dramatic changes that have taken place in the United States in the past century. The rising costs of health care and the increasing older minority population, additional reform will be needed to maintain the sus-tainability of the program. Additional work examining within-race group differences is key to understanding minority aging issues given the large amount of cultural diversity in the United States.