SARAVYC aims to understand the influences of stigma on health disparities of vulnerable populations of youth, including sexually exploited, street-involved, and LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Two Spirit, Queer and Questioning) youth.
Our interdisciplinary international research team integrates diverse perspectives into innovative ways of asking research questions, pursuing knowledge creation, and enhancing research capacity. An additional objective of this team is to develop and enhance ethical frameworks and methodologies to guide research with vulnerable populations.
The past five years (2007 – 2012) have been primarily focused on intersectional stigma of sexually exploited and street-involved youth. The next five years (2012-2016) are focused on a program of research “Reducing Stigma, Fostering Resilience among LGBTQ Youth”. You can read more about that project in the section under “What We Do”.
The following goals guide the research projects of SARAVYC:
1. To identify and describe mechanisms of stigma and effects on health of vulnerable youth.
2. To identify strengths and protective factors that buffer youth from stigma.
3. To develop and test interventions at the individual, community and policy levels to reduce health inequities for youth.
Research projects investigate stigma within four thematic areas: socio-cultural, population, and environmental health perspectives; biological mechanisms; health services and policies; and clinical, community, and policy interventions (see diagram). Our research aims to address the intersection of stigma’s influence on health at several levels, from the biological, individual and interpersonal to the community, social and policy levels.
Knowledge to action is another priority of this Centre. SARAVYC strives to work collaboratively with community partners, bring evidence to bear on policy and programming, and share findings with participants, youth and the public. Please visit publications, presentations and community sections to see more.