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At the Intersection of social inequity: Tobacco use disparities among diverse LGBTQ adolescents

Institution: San Diego State University Research Foundation
Investigator(s): Jennifer Felner,
Award Cycle: 2019 (Cycle 29) Grant #: T29FT0265 Award: $213,864
Subject Area: Tobacco-Use Prevention and Cessation
Award Type: Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards

Initial Award Abstract
Over the last two decades, rates of adolescent tobacco use among the general population have decreased dramatically. However, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) adolescents continue to smoke at significantly higher rates than those who are not LGBTQ. There is some evidence to suggest that LGBTQ adolescents of color may use tobacco at even higher rates than those who are LGBTQ and non-Hispanic, white, though data are limited. These higher rates are thought to be driven by the additional discrimination and stress experienced by people with more than one disadvantaged social position (being a sexual and gender minority and a racial/ethnic minority), yet researchers rarely study how these intersectional minority identities shape tobacco use. Addressing these gaps are critical in California where more than half of all middle and high school students are non-White and more than 10% are LGBTQ. This postdoctoral fellowship aims to address these gaps by analyzing data collected from 2013-2018 from more than 2 million students across California to study differences and trends in tobacco use at the intersection of sexual orientation and gender identity, race/ethnicity, and class and test a conceptual model of the factors influencing greater use among diverse LGBTQ adolescents. This study and the proposed postdoctoral training goals will help the candidate to (1) specialize in tobacco health disparities research focused on LGBTQ adolescents, developing the skills needed to emerge as a field leader and (2) provide the data necessary to develop interventions to prevent tobacco use among diverse groups of LGBTQ adolescents.