Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
Though mainstream acceptance for the 2SLGBTQ+ community is on the rise, elevated risks of mental health challenges still pervade this community, particularly for youth growing up in this changing environment. Based on previous literature citing the benefits of creative interventions and youth autonomy, the current study sought to explore the implementation of an online, peer-led creative writing program as a possible means to increase emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing in 2SLGBTQ+ youth. Twenty self-identifying 2SLGBTQ+ youth from across Canada were recruited to form two 10-week, online peer-led creative writing groups titled “Rainbow Writes”. Based on Lerner et al.’s (2003) “Five Cs” of positive youth development, Rainbow Writes sought to alleviate some impacts of minority stressors in these 2SLGBTQ+ youth (14-18-years-old) within a COVID-19 context. Following a peer-led model, weekly writing exercises were led mainly by the youth. Mixed methods, in the form of a pre- and post- online survey, semi-structured interviews and a brief midway evaluation, were used to explore wellbeing outcomes and youth’s evaluation of the program. Thematic analysis, Reliable Change Index, and paired t-tests were used to analyze the data. Key qualitative findings demonstrated an increase in participants’ self-esteem and confidence as well as the importance of social connectedness and building 2SLGBTQ+ community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Quantitative findings indicated positive changes in authenticity and other positive identity markers, and a slight decrease in anxiety symptoms. These findings contribute to the knowledge base on how to run successful creative writing interventions for 2SLGBTQ+ youth and demonstrate the potential of this program to help guide 2SLGBTQ+ youth through positive youth development.
Harrison, Ceilidh, "Rainbow Writes: Peer-Led Creative Writing Groups’ Potential for Promoting 2SLGBTQ+ Youth Wellbeing" (2021). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 2392.