Same-Sex Attraction, Social Relationships, Psychosocial Functioning, and School Performance in Early Adolescence

Department of Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Wibautstraat 4, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Developmental Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.21). 02/2008; 44(1):59-68. DOI: 10.1037/0012-1649.44.1.59
Source: PubMed


The authors examined whether 13- to 15-year-old adolescents who experience feelings of same-sex attraction (SSA) differ from those without such feelings in the quality of relationships with parents, peers, and class mentors and in psychosocial functioning (health status and school performance). The authors also assessed whether differences in psychosocial functioning resulted from differences in the quality of social relationships. Data were collected from 866 Dutch high school students (mean age 13.61 years) by means of a computer-based questionnaire. Of the participants, 74 (8.5%) reported having feelings of SSA. The participants with SSA rated the quality of their relationships with their fathers and their peers lower than did those without SSA. Participants with SSA also had poorer mental health (higher levels of depression and lower levels of self-esteem) and lower school performance. A mediation analysis revealed that differences in psychosocial functioning resulted from differences in the quality of the same-sex attracted youths' social relationships, especially with fathers and peers.

Download full-text


Available from: Eddy H. de Bruyn,
57 Reads
  • Source
    • "Most studies reported larger effects among men than women (Cochran & Mays, 2000b; Cochran, et al., 2007; Frisell, et al., 2010; Sandfort, et al., 2001), but this was only for homosexual and not bisexual men in one study (Bolton & Sareen, 2011). One study had comparable effects for men and women (Strutz, et al., 2015) and some reported mixed findings, depending on SO subgroup (Bostwick, et al., 2010; Tjepkema, 2008) or type of anxiety disorder (Cochran, et al., 2003). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many studies, reviews, and meta-analyses have reported elevated mental health problems for sexual minority (SM) individuals. This systematic review provides an update by including numerous recent studies, and explores whether SM individuals are at increased risk across selected mental health problems as per dimensions of sexual orientation (SO), genders, life-stages, geographic regions, and in higher quality studies. A systematic search in PubMed produced 199 studies appropriate for review. A clear majority of studies reported elevated risks for depression, anxiety, suicide attempts or suicides, and substance-related problems for SM men and women, as adolescents or adults from many geographic regions, and with varied SO dimensions (behaviour, attraction, identity), especially in more recent and higher quality studies. One notable exception is alcohol-related problems, where many studies reported zero or reversed effects, especially for SM men. All SM subgroups were at increased risk, but bisexual individuals were at highest risk in the majority of studies. Other subgroup and gender differences are more complex and are discussed. The review supports the long-standing mental health risk proposition for SM individuals, overall and as subgroups.
    International Review of Psychiatry 11/2015; DOI:10.3109/09540261.2015.1083949 · 1.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Though research looking at the effect of father involvement or the father-son relationship on the health and wellbeing of young gay and bisexual men (YGBM) is scarce, the existing research supports further inquiry. For example , in a Dutch study, Bos et al. (2008) observed that the quality of adolescents' relationships with their father partially mediated the relationship between SSA and increased mental health symptoms. At present, it is unknown what features of the father-son relationship may serve to protect sexual minority youth from stress or how masculinity may shape these processes. "
    [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
    • "Findings from this study have implications at both macro and micro levels. Youth, especially SMY, would benefit greatly from school services that recognize links between academic performance and the degree to which the social environment is perceived to be inclusive, accepting, and safe (Bos et al., 2008). As perceived discrimination is significantly associated with poor school performance, schools are encouraged to take concrete action to eradicate discriminatory practices by students and school personnel. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sexual minority youth are known to face increased risk of poor school performance; however, little research has focused on the educational experiences of multiethnic sexual minority youth (MSMY) in particular. Using venue-based sampling approaches, this study surveyed 255 MSMY at 15 urban high schools. The majority of participants identified as female (65%), Latina (58%), and bisexual (41%), with a mean age of 16. The use of structural equation modeling techniques found that 23% of the variance of school performance was explained by the multivariate model. Examination of the model path coefficients revealed that experiences of perceived discrimination had a powerfully negative influence on the school performance of MSMY. Whereas increased family support was associated with better school performance, neither peer nor school support had similar impact. In addition, levels of support did not significantly moderate the effect of perceived discrimination on MSMY
    Youth &amp Society 03/2014; 46(1):30-50. DOI:10.1177/0044118X11424915 · 1.82 Impact Factor
Show more