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.

28 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.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · American journal of men's health
    • "In order to address the documented health disparities, numerous researchers have called for the development of effective interventions for SMY (e.g., Bouris et al., 2010; Ryan et al., 2010; Saewyc, 2011). However, in order to most effectively intervene with SMY, including the family may be integral to the process (e.g., Bouris et al., 2010; Ryan et al., 2009; Ryan et al., 2010; Saewyc, 2011). Furthermore, it is important to have a breadth of empirical scholarship on the psychosocial development and context of SMY and their families in order to develop components of effective interventions. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recent research has documented the importance of parental reactions to disclosure for sexual minority youth (SMY) (e.g., Ryan, Huebner, Diaz, & Sanchez, 2009). The purpose of this study was to develop a deeper understanding of the parent perspective of the disclosure to family experience of SMY ages 14-21. In-depth interviews were conducted with eight parents in the United States who had experienced a child disclose their lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) orientation to them. Constructivist grounded theory and symbolic interaction theory informed the methodology and data analysis for the project. Analysis revealed that the process of becoming the parent of an LGB son or daughter is an appropriate narrative to conceptualize the parental experience of the disclosure to family process. The findings highlight how disclosure introduces new roles into the existing family system, which affects the consideration and interpretation of the salience of particular identities, such as being the parent of an LGB son or daughter. Understanding how parents experience the disclosure to family process - particularly, how they understand and re-envision the meaning of being a parent - is crucial for research and intervention to help families become supportive of SMY. Limitations and suggestions for future research are presented.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Journal of GLBT Family Studies
  • 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.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Archives of Sexual Behavior
Show more