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

ABSTRACT 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.

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