Navigation Links
Supporting LGB children may influence their long-term health, BU study finds
Date:4/10/2012

'Coming out' as gay, lesbian or bisexual may be good for your health, particularly when parental support is involved.

A comprehensive new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher Emily Rothman shows that two-thirds of lesbian, gay and bisexual adults in a representative Massachusetts sample reported receiving positive support from their parents after coming out to them. Their incidence of mental health and substance abuse problems was significantly lower than those who did not receive support, the authors reported.

Overall, three-quarters of lesbian, gay and bisexual adults in Massachusetts reported having come out to their parents, typically when they were about 25 years old, the study found.

The response to their coming out led to different health outcomes, according to the researchers. Gay and bisexual males whose parents did not support them, for example, had six to seven times the odds of serious depression and binge drinking, while lesbian and bisexual females had five times the odds of developing serious depression, and 11 times the odds of illicit drug use.

In the study, published in the Journal of Homosexuality, Rothman and colleagues surveyed 5,658 adults ages 18-64 years old in Massachusetts using a statewide surveillance system. They explored whether coming outand the reaction that it received was associated with better or worse adult health. The authors controlled for factors including age, race, education level and health insurance status, in order to focus as narrowly as possible on the association between coming out and adult health status.

"These results do not surprise me at all," said Nicole Sullivan, a 22-year-old student at Bunker Hill Community College who came out as bisexual when she was 19 years old. "I struggled with mental health and drug problems during my adolescence, and I know that some of it is because I didn't feel accepted at home. I am really grateful that I had cousins who supported me, and it's because of them that I was able to get healthy."

The authors found that the act of coming out (instead of remaining "closeted") was generally associated with better health for lesbian and bisexual women, but that this was not similarly true for gay and bisexual men.

"It's possible that the stress of not disclosing your sexuality to your parents affects men and women differently," explained Rothman, an associate professor of community health sciences. "In general, gay and bisexual men may be able to conduct their sexual lives apart from their parents with less stress. On the other hand, it's also possible that this was an artifact of our particular sample."

Rothman added: "Given the high rates of suicide and self-harm among lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) youth--and the high costs of treating mental-health and substance-abuse disordersit's critical that we understand what we can do to promote better health for LGB kids."

In the study, the authors propose that a low-cost but potentially far-reaching strategy to improve LGB youth health would be for national academies of pediatric medicine to develop and disseminate guidelines or recommendations that would encourage pediatricians to provide all parents of adolescents with tips for supporting children if they come out as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

"The way that parents treat their LGB children when they come out is an important public health topic that has received too little attention to date," Rothman said. "Our message is that parents should take note: The way we treat our LGB children, even from before the time they disclose their sexual orientation status, may have a long-term, significant impact on their health and ability to handle life's challenges."

Besides Rothman, researchers on the study were: Mairead Sullivan, of Emory University; and Ulrike Boehmer, associate professor of community health sciences at BUSPH.


'/>"/>

Contact: Emily Rothman
erothman@bu.edu
617-763-5557
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Senator Janis Lee Sponsors Senate Resolution Supporting Kevin Saunders for Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports
2. DAV Recognizes President for Supporting Veterans Health Care Budget Reform
3. Pew Applauds Federal Grant Program Supporting State Expansion of Evidence-Based Home Visitation
4. BDT Joins RDX Storage Alliance Supporting the RDX Removable Disk Technology - Storage Professionals' Community Continues Momentum
5. Growth factor regenerates tooth supporting structures: Results of a large randomized clinical trial
6. 2010 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Award presented to the Honorable Rush Holt, Ph.D., for supporting science in Congress
7. Dads, community health care workers roles in supporting low-income moms with breast feeding
8. Amway One by One Campaign for Children Reaches 7 Million Kids
9. Exposure to secondhand smoke among children in England has declined since 1996
10. One Month after Major Quake, Ongoing Crises for Haitian Children
11. Groundbreaking Principal and Contributor on Dr. Oz Show Releases His Latest Book on How We Can Influence the Lives of Children
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2020)... ... 22, 2020 , ... In times of crisis, like the ... luxury. The world’s focus is on practical matters - on self-isolation, social distancing, ... control in chaos. However, it’s during these times that “self-awareness” is crucial, according ...
(Date:3/20/2020)... ... 2020 , ... CommunityMed Urgent Care , based in Dallas, has rolled ... lets patients present online, complete registration paperwork (including the latest COVID screening) provide IDs ... get signaled that their clean exam room is ready. All of this is ...
(Date:3/20/2020)... , ... March 21, 2020 , ... ... and legal communities together for a day of live discussion and learning online. ... advocacy and ethics, telemedicine, whistleblower laws, the role of boards, fraud, waste and ...
(Date:3/19/2020)... ... 2020 , ... For weeks, SignatureCare Emergency Center has been preparing its emergency ... announced that while we are still short of some critical safety equipment, medical equipment ... preparedness measures to be complete. , The Houston, TX based company said it has ...
(Date:3/19/2020)... Va. (PRWEB) , ... March 19, 2020 , ... As ... up to support America’s response efforts. , “As a global humanitarian organization, Project HOPE’s ... is massive right here at home,” said Rabih Torbay, President and CEO of Project ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2020)... , ... March 27, 2020 , ... ... Isagenix International has named Gary Gallant as its permanent CIO. In this ... company’s technology vision, ensuring Isagenix can provide a smooth shopping experience for customers ...
(Date:3/27/2020)... ... March 27, 2020 , ... ... platform based on students' holistic portfolios, revealed that college-bound young adults are reconsidering ... is creating huge new barriers to high school senior’s path to college and ...
(Date:3/22/2020)... ... March 21, 2020 , ... As the spread of ... Department of Thoracic Medicine and Surgery, and the Temple Lung Center have taken ... symptom tracking platform and triage/care coordination services. Temple is now enrolling patients, faculty, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: