A Systematic Review of Parental Influences on the Health and Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: Time for a New Public Health Research and Practice Agenda

University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, 969 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
The Journal of Prevention 12/2010; 31(5-6):273-309. DOI: 10.1007/s10935-010-0229-1
Source: PubMed


Relatively little is known about how parents influence the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adolescents and young adults. This gap has led to a paucity of parent-based interventions for LGB young people. A systematic literature review on parental influences on the health of LGB youth was conducted to better understand how to develop a focused program of applied public health research. Five specific areas of health among LGB young people aged 10-24 years old were examined: (a) sexual behavior; (b) substance use; (c) violence and victimization; (d) mental health; and (e) suicide. A total of 31 quantitative articles were reviewed, the majority of which were cross-sectional and relied on convenience samples. Results indicated a trend to focus on negative, and not positive, parental influences. Other gaps included a dearth of research on sexual behavior, substance use, and violence/victimization; limited research on ethnic minority youth and on parental influences identified as important in the broader prevention science literature; and no studies reporting parent perspectives. The review highlights the need for future research on how parents can be supported to promote the health of LGB youth. Recommendations for strengthening the research base are provided.

15 Reads
  • Source
    • "Perceived parental attitudes toward homosexuality have been reported to predict emotional adjustment among gay and bisexual youth (Darby-Mullins & Murdock, 2007). Bouris et al. (2010) concluded in a 539993J MHXXX10.1177/1557988314539993American Journal of Men's HealthJadwin-Cakmak et al. research-article2014 "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Few studies have examined the relationship between young gay and bisexual men (YGBM) and their fathers. Based on a phenomenological framework, this study investigated the role of fathers in YGBM's coming-out experience, focusing on how fathers responded to disclosure of same-sex attraction, how fathers' responses compared with sons' expectations, and what sons perceived as having influenced their fathers' responses. Semistructured in-depth interviews with 30 gay and bisexual men aged 18 to 24 years were conducted as part of a larger study; topics explored in the interview included experiences coming out to family and others. Nineteen participants' narratives included discussion about their fathers and were included in the current analyses. The YGBM who were interviewed perceived a complex range of responses upon coming out to their fathers, ranging from enthusiastic acceptance to physical violence. Participants spoke of fathers who were accepting in different manners and who often held contradictory attitudes about same-sex attraction. Fathers' responses commonly differed from sons' expectations, which were informed by homophobic talk and gendered expectations. Sons spoke about what informed their expectations as well as what they perceived as influencing their fathers' responses, including gender norms, beliefs regarding the cause of same-sex attraction, religious and sociopolitical views, and concerns about HIV/AIDS. Particularly striking was the pervasive influence of hegemonic masculinity throughout the YGBM's stories. The implications of these findings for future research and intervention development are discussed, as well as study strengths and limitations.
    American journal of men's health 07/2014; 9(4). DOI:10.1177/1557988314539993 · 1.15 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Both male and female youth who reported high levels of family connectedness had almost half the odds of suicidal ideation and attempts than youth who reported lower levels of family connectedness, with the exception of males who had .60 the odds of suicidal attempts. Likewise, Bouris et al. (2010) conducted a systematic review of the literature regarding parental influences on the health of LGB youth and found that parental closeness and support wasa suicideprotective factoramong these youth. Table 3 Correlations between suicidal behavior, age, optimism, perceived social support, suicide resilience, and reasons for living "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A recent study indicated a suicide attempt rate of 41 % among trans (e.g., trans, transgender, transexual/transsexual, genderqueer, two-spirit) individuals. Although this rate is alarming, there is a dearth of literature regarding suicide prevention for trans individuals. A vital step in developing suicide prevention models is the identification of protective factors. It was hypothesized that social support from friends, social support from family, optimism, reasons for living, and suicide resilience, which are known to protect cis (non-trans) individuals, also protect trans individuals. A sample of self-identified trans Canadian adults (N = 133) was recruited from LGBT and trans LISTSERVs. Data were collected online using a secure survey platform. A three block hierarchical multiple regression model was used to predict suicidal behavior from protective factors. Social support from friends, social support from family, and optimism significantly and negatively predicted 33 % of variance in participants' suicidal behavior after controlling for age. Reasons for living and suicide resilience accounted for an additional 19 % of the variance in participants' suicidal behavior after controlling for age, social support from friends, social support from family, and optimism. Of the factors mentioned above, perceived social support from family, one of three suicide resilience factors (emotional stability), and one of six reasons for living (child-related concerns) significantly and negatively predicted participants' suicidal behavior. Overall, these findings can be used to inform the practices of mental health workers, medical doctors, and suicide prevention workers working with trans clients.
    Archives of Sexual Behavior 04/2013; 42(5). DOI:10.1007/s10508-013-0099-8 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Because parental attachment and support are known to be particularly important for healthy child and adolescent development, there has been interest in parental reactions to children's sexual orientation disclosure (Bouris et al., 2010). Two separate surveys of parents of gays and lesbians have found that the majority of parents initially respond to their children's LGB sexual orientation disclosure negatively (Robinson, Walters, & Skeen, 1989; Savin-Williams & Ream, 2003), and it has been theorized that non-supportive parental reactions may adversely affect LGB youths' mental and behavioral health (Willoughby, Doty, & Malik, 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study investigated associations between coming out to parents, experiences of parental support, and self-reported health behaviors and conditions among a population-based sample of LGB individuals using data collected via the 2002 Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS; N = 177). We explored the following two hypotheses: 1) Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals who had never disclosed their sexual orientation to a parent would report higher levels of risk behaviors and poorer health conditions than those who had come out; and 2) among LGB respondents who had come out to their parents, the individuals whose parents had reacted unsupportively would report higher levels of risk behaviors and poorer health conditions than those who had come out to parents who were supportive. Approximately two thirds of gay and bisexual (GB) males and lesbian and bisexual (LB) females reported receiving adequate social and emotional support from the parent to whom they first disclosed their sexual orientation. Among LB females, no disclosure of sexual orientation to a parent was associated with significantly elevated levels of past-month illicit drug use (AOR 12.16, 95% CI 2.87-51.54), fair or poor self-reported health status (AOR 5.71, 95% CI 1.45-22.51), and >15 days of depression in the past month (AOR 5.95, 95% CI 1.78-19.90), controlling for potential confounders. However, nondisclosure to a parent by GB males was not associated with greater odds of any of the health indicators assessed. Among GB males, those with unsupportive parents were significantly more likely to report current binge drinking (AOR 6.94, 95% CI 1.70-28.35) and >15 days depression in the past month (AOR 6.08, 95% CI 1.15-32.15), and among LB females, those with unsupportive parents were significantly more likely to report lifetime illicit drug use (AOR 11.43, 95% CI 2.50-52.30), and >15 days depression in the past month (AOR 5.51, 95% CI 1.36-22.36). We conclude that coming out may be associated with better health for LB women, and that parents who react nonsupportively when their children disclose LGB sexual orientation may contribute to children's increased odds of depression and hazardous substance use.
    Journal of Homosexuality 02/2012; 59(2):186-200. DOI:10.1080/00918369.2012.648878 · 0.78 Impact Factor
Show more