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
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). "
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    • "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. "
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