Family Acceptance in Adolescence and the Health of LGBT Young Adults

Authors

  • Caitlin Ryan PhD, ACSW,

    1. Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW, is Director, Family Acceptance Project and Distinguished Adjunct Professor, Marian Wright Edelman Institute, San Francisco State University; Stephen T. Russell, PhD, is Fitch Nesbitt Endowed Chair and Director, Frances McClelland Institute, University of Arizona; David Huebner, PhD, MPH, is Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Utah; Rafael Diaz, PhD, MSW, is Professor of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University; Jorge Sanchez, BA, is Project Coordinator, Family Acceptance Project, San Francisco State University, USA.
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  • Stephen T. Russell PhD,

    1. Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW, is Director, Family Acceptance Project and Distinguished Adjunct Professor, Marian Wright Edelman Institute, San Francisco State University; Stephen T. Russell, PhD, is Fitch Nesbitt Endowed Chair and Director, Frances McClelland Institute, University of Arizona; David Huebner, PhD, MPH, is Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Utah; Rafael Diaz, PhD, MSW, is Professor of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University; Jorge Sanchez, BA, is Project Coordinator, Family Acceptance Project, San Francisco State University, USA.
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  • David Huebner PhD, MPH,

    1. Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW, is Director, Family Acceptance Project and Distinguished Adjunct Professor, Marian Wright Edelman Institute, San Francisco State University; Stephen T. Russell, PhD, is Fitch Nesbitt Endowed Chair and Director, Frances McClelland Institute, University of Arizona; David Huebner, PhD, MPH, is Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Utah; Rafael Diaz, PhD, MSW, is Professor of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University; Jorge Sanchez, BA, is Project Coordinator, Family Acceptance Project, San Francisco State University, USA.
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  • Rafael Diaz PhD, MSW,

    1. Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW, is Director, Family Acceptance Project and Distinguished Adjunct Professor, Marian Wright Edelman Institute, San Francisco State University; Stephen T. Russell, PhD, is Fitch Nesbitt Endowed Chair and Director, Frances McClelland Institute, University of Arizona; David Huebner, PhD, MPH, is Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Utah; Rafael Diaz, PhD, MSW, is Professor of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University; Jorge Sanchez, BA, is Project Coordinator, Family Acceptance Project, San Francisco State University, USA.
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  • Jorge Sanchez BA

    1. Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW, is Director, Family Acceptance Project and Distinguished Adjunct Professor, Marian Wright Edelman Institute, San Francisco State University; Stephen T. Russell, PhD, is Fitch Nesbitt Endowed Chair and Director, Frances McClelland Institute, University of Arizona; David Huebner, PhD, MPH, is Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Utah; Rafael Diaz, PhD, MSW, is Professor of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University; Jorge Sanchez, BA, is Project Coordinator, Family Acceptance Project, San Francisco State University, USA.
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Author contact: fap@sfsu.edu, with a copy to the Editor: poster@uta.edu

Abstract

ISSUE:  The role of family acceptance as a protective factor for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adolescents and young adults has not been established.

METHODS:  A quantitative measure with items derived from prior qualitative work retrospectively assessed family accepting behaviors in response to LGBT adolescents' sexual orientation and gender expression and their relationship to mental health, substance abuse, and sexual risk in young adults (N= 245).

FINDINGS:  Family acceptance predicts greater self-esteem, social support, and general health status; it also protects against depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation and behaviors.

CONCLUSIONS:  Family acceptance of LGBT adolescents is associated with positive young adult mental and physical health. Interventions that promote parental and caregiver acceptance of LGBT adolescents are needed to reduce health disparities.

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