Minority Stress and HERoic Coping Among Ethnoracial Sexual Minority Girls: Intersections of Resilience

Shelley L. Craig, Ashley Austin, Edward J. Alessi, Lauren McInroy, Gina Keane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This study used a focus group methodology to explore the experiences of stress and coping among 40 Hispanic, Caribbean Black, Haitian, and African American cisgender sexual minority girls living in the southeastern United States. An analysis of the data using grounded theory strategies revealed that participants were part of a cultural context in which few boundaries existed between family, religion, and culture, and that they tended to believe that they were betraying family and culture because of their sexual minority identities. Participants described (a) real or perceived transgressions of gender expectations and roles, (b) violating religious doctrine, and (c) emotional exclusion and taunting by family members. In the same context, the theme of HERoic Coping described participants’ resilience that manifested as (a) serving as the family educator, (b) being “out” in the open with family, and (c) creating safety. This study found that the negotiation of complex family, religious, and community environments is critical to understanding resilience in ethnoracial sexual minority girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)614-641
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • coping
  • ethnoracial youth
  • minority stress
  • resilience
  • sexual minority girls


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