Increasing resilience among LGBTQ youth: The protective role of natural mentors

Yafit Sulimani-Aidan, Guy Shilo, June C. Paul*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on the minority stress model, which emphasizes the unique risk stressors that impact LGBTQ youths’ lives, and the resilience perspective, which emphasizes the interaction between protective and promotive factors in youth and their surroundings, we investigated in this exploratory study the mechanism by which natural mentoring relationships contribute to LGBTQ youths’ hope. A web sampling of LGBTQ youth aged 12–25 (N = 198) was used, and participants answered a self-report questionnaire to assess their hope, mentor support, risk factors (i.e., internalized homophobia, anti-LGBTQ harassment, level of outness, gender identity and sexual orientation) and personal characteristics. Findings showed that the support of mentors, particularly mentors as autonomy promoters, contributed significantly to LGBTQ youths’ hope. Results also revealed that transgender youth had lower levels of hope than did LGBQ cisgender youth. The mediation analysis revealed that the support of mentors mediated the link between risk factors (e.g., antigay harassment, internalized homophobia) and higher levels of hope. The discussion suggests considering both risk and protective factors as an integral part of LGBTQ youth intervention programs in the contexts of their lives (e.g., school). Also discussed are the possible explanations for the contribution of natural mentoring and the mechanism involved in risk and protective factors. Implications for practice emphasize the importance of increasing LGBTQ youths’ hope via their social ties with mentors in their environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107570
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - May 2024


  • Hope
  • LGBTQ youth
  • Mentoring
  • Minority stress model
  • Resilience


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