The rates of maltreatment and interpersonal trauma among children and adolescents are astounding. Youth exposed to interpersonal trauma are at increased risk for both short and long-term negative physical, behavioral, and mental health outcomes. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adolescents represent a uniquely vulnerable population. Compared to their heterosexual peers, LGB youth are at increased risk for experiencing interpersonal trauma and sexual violence, including trauma’s negative sequelae (e.g., higher rates of PTSD, depression, suicidality, substance abuse, and risky sexual behavior). Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment demonstrating repeated efficacy in treating youth and families exposed to various forms of trauma, including complex trauma. While a breadth of empirical data demonstrates TF-CBT’s effectiveness in treating adolescent trauma survivors, additional research suggests that TF-CBT can be culturally modified to enhance its effectiveness and relevance among specific minority populations. Thus, this current study involved development of a supplemental resource manual with culturally sensitive recommendations for TF-CBT therapists working with LGB adolescents. Development of the resource was informed by a review of the literature pertaining to LGB adolescence, interpersonal trauma, and LGB-affirming treatment approaches. Data from this literature review was synthesized and integrated into a supplemental resource manual, which was then reviewed by a panel of three expert clinicians who provided feedback and recommendations via an evaluation form. Results suggested that the resource is a culturally sensitive and useful supplement to the 2006 TF-CBT treatment manual. Strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and recommended improvements are also addressed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Gay youth -- Mental health; Lesbian youth -- Mental health; Bisexual youth -- Mental health; Cognitive therapy

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Bryant-Davis, Thema;