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Mandatory Fields
Ceatha, N;Mayock, P;Campbell, J;Noone, C;Browne, K
International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health
The Power of Recognition: A Qualitative Study of Social Connectedness and Wellbeing through LGBT Sporting, Creative and Social Groups in Ireland
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The broad research consensus suggesting substantial vulnerabilities among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities may fail to recognize the protective factors available to these populations. The sparse literature on mental health promotion highlights the importance of understanding strengths-based community approaches that promote LGBT wellbeing. Informed by the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, underpinned by Honneth's Theory of Recognition, this paper outlines the findings of a qualitative Irish study on LGBT social connectedness through a diverse range of sporting, creative and social interests. Ten in-depth interviews were conducted with 11 people (including one couple) who self-identified as lesbian (5), gay (4), bisexual (1) and transgender (1) aged between 22 and 56 years. A university Research Ethics Committee granted approval. The data were transcribed and coded using thematic analysis, enhanced through a memo-writing approach to reflexivity. The theme of 'connecting' emphasized the shared nature of activities, with like-minded others through groups established by, and for, LGBT communities. Messages from the study reinforce the central role of LGBT communities in the promotion of mental health and social wellbeing, with important policy and practice implications. This requires the contextualization of the contribution of LGBT communities within understandings of social justice, identity and recognition.
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