Affirmative Supportive Safe and Empowering Talk
The Intervention: Affirmative Supportive Safe and Empowering Talk (ASSET) is an eight-week affirmative, school-based group counseling intervention created specifically to promote the resilience of sexual and gender minority youth.
Intervention Results: ASSET is a promising intervention for enhancing youth resilience. In a pilot uncontrolled trial, multiethnic sexual minority youth (n = 263) completed measures of self-esteem, social connectedness, and proactive coping at baseline and following completion of the ASSET intervention. Post-intervention analysis using general linear modeling suggests that self-esteem and proactive coping increased significantly across all subgroups, while social connectedness remained constant. Many publications and presentations have resulted from this work.
Intervention Details: During the first session, discussion topics were selected by the group to capture the experiences and promote active engagement by all SMY. Topics within the 8 weeks often consist of identity development, coming out, assertiveness, stereotypes and discrimination, stress management, sexual health, family relationships and dating. Each ASSET session consisted of five primary sections: (a) warm up, (b) exploring “hot topics” or time-sensitive issues in the students’ lives, (c) exploring thematic and relevant topics, (d) exploring and practicing healthy decision making, and (e) group reflection and facilitator summary.
Four themes guide the ASSET intervention:
Theme 1 (Session 1-2): Who am I? What are my strengths?
Theme 2 (Sessions 3-4): Where am I going and what’s in my way?
Theme 3 (Sessions 5-6): What causes me stress and what can I do about
Theme 4 (Sessions 7-8): How will I remember my brilliance?
Craig, S. L., Austin, A., & McInroy, L. B. (2014). School based groups to support multiethnic sexual minority youth resiliency: Preliminary effectiveness. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 31(1), 87-106.
Craig, S. L. (2013). Affirmative supportive safe and empowering talk [ASSET]: Leveraging the Strengths and resiliencies of sexual minority youth in school-based groups. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 7, 1–15.