Mental Health and Wellbeing for Young People from Intersectional Identity Groups: Inequity for Māori, Pacific, Rainbow Young People, and those with a Disabling Condition
journal contributionposted on 2023-09-04, 00:11 authored by Rituparna Roy, Lara Greaves, John Fenaughty, Theresa FlemingTheresa Fleming, Terryann Clark
‘Intersectionality’ describes the converging effects of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, and other social group characteristics that influence life experiences. We draw on a representative study of year 9-13 students in Tai Tokerau, Tāmaki Makaurau, and Waikato (Youth19) to explore differences in mental health and wellbeing outcomes for young people from a selection of intersectional identities (Māori, Pasifika, Rainbow, and young people with a Disabling Condition). We found a pervasive pattern of inequity for young people who have intersectional identities compared to those from the majority groups (i.e. Pākehā, non-disabled, cis-heterosexual youth). Intersectional youth had higher levels of inequity and faced a greater array of inequities. There was evidence of an additive effect for some indicators. Thematic analysis of open-text survey responses found the need for positive inclusive environments, and support for all young people, including those at the intersections of identity. Drawing on the findings, we offered several systemslevel policy recommendations, including strategies to improve inclusiveness and reduce discrimination.