Navigation Links
Rejection of Gay Teens Linked to Later Troubles
Date:12/29/2008

Suicide attempts, drug use higher among those whose families don't accept them

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Gay young adults whose families rejected them when they were younger are more likely to have histories of unprotected sex, illegal drug use and suicide attempts, new research suggests.

The findings don't prove that a family's negative reaction to a child's sexuality directly causes problems later in life. But it's clear that "there's a connection between how families treat gay and lesbian children and their mental and physical health," said Caitlin Ryan, a clinical social worker at San Francisco State University and lead author of a study released in the January issue of Pediatrics.

In recent decades, studies have found evidence that gay, lesbian and bisexual children are more likely to suffer from a variety of ills, including depression and suicide. Researchers attribute the problems to social stigma around homosexuality, but there has been a gap regarding the role of families' reactions to children's sexuality, Ryan said.

In the new study, researchers first talked to 49 white and Latino families in California to determine how they reacted to children who weren't heterosexual so they would know what to watch for when they started the main research.

In terms of rejection, "we saw that in so many cases, families and caregivers thought what they were doing would help their children have a better life, fit in, belong and be accepted by others," Ryan said. "They'd try to change their gender identity, forbid them from spending time with a gay friend, not let them have access to information about what it's like to be a gay, lesbian or bisexual person."

In some cases, parents wouldn't stand up for their children when they had problems at school, Ryan said. "Their parents would say, 'Of course that's going to happen to you.' They'll blame the victim."

After the initial interviews, the researchers surveyed 224 gay, lesbian and bisexual adults, 21 to 25 years old, in the greater San Francisco area. All the participants were white or Latino, and the researchers located them by contacting community groups and visiting bars, clubs and other nightspots. The interviews took place from 2002 to 2005.

More than two-thirds of those who had been rejected by their families said they had tried to kill themselves, compared with about 20 percent of those who reported the lowest rates of rejection.

About 46 percent of those in the most-rejected group said they'd had unprotected sex with a casual partner in the past six months -- nearly twice the rate of those in the least-rejected group.

Those who reported the most rejection had higher rates of illegal drug use, substance abuse problems and depression. However, people in that group had somewhat lower rates of heavy drinking.

Ryan said the findings suggest that health providers should look for signs of trouble by talking to teens about their sexual orientation. As for families, they should emphasize to their children that they love them even if they disagree with their choices, Ryan said.

In cases of rejection, "most of these families feel that being gay is wrong or sinful or the worst thing that could happen," she said. "What often doesn't get communicated is that they still love their child."

Stephen T. Russell, director of the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, & Families at the University of Arizona, said the study confirms his suspicions about the harm caused when families reject gay children.

"It's really important to have research that documents the risk," he said, adding that the study provides guidance by pinpointing the specific harmful things that families do.

Russell echoed study author Ryan by saying that families often have the best interests of their children in mind even as they lay the groundwork for tremendous harm. "Families do these things because they think it's the right thing to do," he said. "They think it's protecting (their children) and making things better for them."

More information

To learn more about issues facing gay, lesbian and bisexual teens, check out information from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.



SOURCES: Caitlin Ryan, Ph.D., clinical social worker, San Francisco State University; Stephen T. Russell, Ph.D., director, Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, & Families, University of Arizona, Tucson; January 2009 Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Family rejection of LGB children linked to poor health in early childhood
2. Cancer drug effectively treats transplant rejections
3. Immune Molecule Key to Preventing Organ Rejection
4. Immune molecule that plays a powerful role in avoiding organ rejection identified
5. Anti-Rejection Drug May Boost Diabetes in Kidney Transplant Patients
6. Anti-rejection drug may increase risk of diabetes after kidney transplant
7. Embryonic stem cells could help to overcome immune rejection problems
8. As Congress Begins Debate on Bush Budget, Front-Line Caregivers Urge Rejection of Medicare Cuts
9. AHCA, Alliance Praise Bipartisan Johnson, Collins Letter Urging Rejection of Bush Medicare Cuts
10. FRC Urges Rejection of Lantos Bill That Funds International Abortionists
11. Human embryonic stem cell lines created that avoid immune rejection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating ... many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who ... of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is ... herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, ... their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures ... . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, ... ... to helping both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented ... for the Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay ... Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne ... Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of ... Innovation, today announced the five finalists of ... Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or ... protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as vehicle ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Dehaier Medical Systems ... "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical devices and ... , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan Supply ... Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to develop Dehaier,s ... strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: