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

ArticleinThe Journal of Prevention 31(5-6):273-309 · December 2010with45 Reads
DOI: 10.1007/s10935-010-0229-1 · Source: PubMed
Abstract
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.
    • "For young gay men, family based approaches to preventing HIV and substance abuse and promoting mental health have not yet been tested (Bouris et al., 2010; Mustanski & Hunter, 2012). However, researchers are beginning to suggest that efforts to develop such programs should be prioritized given their potential to increase sources of resilience and address multiple syndemic issues experienced by young GBM (Bouris et al., 2010; Harper & Riplinger, 2013; Garofalo et al., 2008; Mustanski & Hunter, 2012). For example, the Family Acceptance Project, shown to reduce mental and physical distress among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents, provides a model intervention aimed at promoting parental and caregiver sexuality support (Ryan, Russell, Huebner, Diaz & Sanchez, 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined resilience associated with the avoidance of psychosocial health conditions (i.e., syndemics) that increase vulnerability for HIV among young Black gay and bisexual men. We used analytic induction to compare a sample of 23 men who showed no evidence of syndemic conditions to a sample of 23 men who experienced syndemic conditions. The men who avoided syndemics reported supportive relationships with people who helped them to develop a strong sense of identity, provided them with opportunities to give back to their communities, and promoted positive norms about health. In contrast, the men experiencing syndemic conditions described numerous instances of trauma and oppression that infringed upon their desire to form positive relationships. Among these men, experiences of oppression were associated with shame, identity incongruence, social isolation, relational disconnection, mistrust of men, and expectations of further marginalization. We examined participants’ experiences through the framework of the psychosocial sense of community. Results of this study provide evidence for using strength-based intervention strategies to prevent syndemic conditions. Findings suggest that to attenuate socio-structural barriers to health and comorbid psychosocial health concerns, interventions must address young men's social isolation and promote positive identity and sense of community.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2016
    • "To date, this is the first empirical study to explore the child and adolescent abuse experiences and their influence on the pre-migration mental health of forced migrants who later obtained refugee or asylee status on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Findings from this study were consistent with Bouris et al.'s (2010) systematic review that indicated that parental abuse and low levels of parental connectedness correlated with negative mental health outcomes among LGBT youth. Participants grew up in environments where transgressing gender norms was met with severe physical and verbal abuse by parents and caregivers, and this abuse occurred regardless of their country of origin. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Numerous studies demonstrate that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) children and youth are likely to experience abuse by peers, parents, and other adults and that these experiences correlate with a host of mental health problems. However, there is little understanding of the experiences of LGBT children and youth living in countries where social and legal protections for sexual and gender minorities are limited or nonexistent. This qualitative study used thematic analysis to explore the child and adolescent abuse experiences and their impact on the pre-migration mental health of LGBT forced migrants. We analyzed 26 interviews with individuals who obtained refugee or asylee status in the United States or Canada on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Participants originated from countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Analysis revealed the following themes: abuse by parents and caregivers, abuse by peers and school personnel, having nowhere to turn, and dealing with psychological distress. Findings indicate that participants experienced severe verbal, physical, and sexual abuse throughout childhood and adolescence and that this abuse occurred at home, in school, and in the community. Furthermore, there were no resources or sources of protection available to them. Participants linked their abuse to subjective experiences of depression, anxiety, and traumatic stress, as well as suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. We conclude with implications for refugee adjudication practices, mental health care, and international policy.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015
    • "The narrative and discussions in week five drew on several bodies of related research. First, we drew on enquiry into the detrimental role of parental rejection on the health of LGBT youth (Bouris et al. 2010; Ryan et al. 2009). Second, we wanted to create a space where young people could reflect on their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviours related to sexual orientation. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper presents findings from a focus group study conducted to evaluate The Source, an alternate reality game (ARG). ARGs are a relatively new genre of interactive digital games that use a variety of media to engage game players. We developed modules on sexual health, sexual orientation, and homophobia in a game that was delivered to 133 predominantly African-American and Latino US youth. Ten focus groups were conducted with 43 young people aged 13–18 who played The Source to understand feasibility and acceptability issues and the impact of the game on young people’s attitudes, knowledge, and behaviours. Data were transcribed and analysed for common themes by two independent coders. Four primary themes were identified: (1) the feasibility and acceptability of using an ARG for sexual education; (2) the acceptability of The Source’s specific sexual health content; (3) the game’s influence on sexual health-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours; and (4) the impact of the game on young people’s thoughts and responses to sexual orientation and homophobia. Study findings indicate that an ARG is an exciting and interactive way to educate young people on sensitive topics in sexuality education, but that attention to narrative authenticity and effective messaging are important issues to address.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015
Show more