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JSI Special Issue Announcement

By Drs. Stacey Williams, Abbey Mann, and David Frost

As issue editors, we are happy to announce the publication of our special issue of the Journal of Social Issues entitled Translating Stigma and Intergroup Relations Research to Explain and Reduce Sexual and Gender Minority Health Disparities.”  We approached the development of this issue with the ultimate goal of calling upon social issues researchers to focus their work on sexual and gender minority stigma and intergroup relations processes in order to understand and ultimately reduce health disparities. We thank the authors involved for their contributions, as well as all of the reviewers of the manuscripts for their expertise during the review process.

Health disparities are a reality for individuals who identify as sexual or gender minority, and they increasingly have the attention of science and policy. These sexual and gender minority disparities in mental and physical health often are attributed to structural discrimination through policies that do not promote equal rights and interpersonal and intrapersonal processes. The special issue highlights the special role that stigma and intergroup relations researchers play in explaining these health disparities based on sexual and gender minority identity and developing interventions to reduce stigma and improve health. In addition to a primary focus on social issues researchers, policy makers may be interested in the application of content to policy, while clinicians (physicians, psychologists, social workers, etc.) would benefit from the papers related to healthcare and tools for intervention.

Within the issue you will find current empirical (quantitative and qualitative) and conceptual evidence for how stigma and intergroup relations processes can be used to explain and reduce sexual and gender minority health disparities. Several papers focus on stigma in the form of minority stress among sexual and gender minorities. Other papers focus on intergroup relations, such as within healthcare and patient-provider relationships. Still others provide review or discussion of strategies for reducing health disparities among sexual and gender minorities through interventions and policy directly related to stigma and intergroup relations (e.g., brief interventions; improved healthcare encounters and physician education). Whether contributing a conceptual or empirical piece—qualitative or quantitative—authors integrate discussion of social issues, policy, intersectionality, and international application.

We believe the special issue has broad and interdisciplinary appeal to anyone working in the area of stigma and intergroup relations and health including scholars as well as graduate and undergraduate students. Indeed, contributors to this special issue are scholars engaged in a range of disciplines (psychology, public heath, community research and action, nursing, and policy/law, medicine). Although we have focused on the sexual and gender minority stigma, intergroup relations, and health in the United States of America, we represent some international locations (e.g., Italy), and hope that social issues researchers across the globe will benefit from and contribute to the future conceptual and empirical work on the topic. 

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