Parental Rejection Following Sexual Orientation Disclosure: Impact on Internalized Homophobia, Social Support, and Mental Health

LGBT Health. 2015 Sep;2(3):265-9. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2013.0024. Epub 2014 Apr 1.


Sexual minority individuals face unique stressors because of their sexual identity. We explored associations between parental reactions to children's coming out, internalized homophobia (IH), social support, and mental health in a sample of 257 sexual minority adults. Path analyses revealed that higher IH and lower social support mediated the association between past parental rejection and current psychological distress. Mental health providers may benefit clients by utilizing interventions that challenge internalized stereotypes about homosexuality, increase social support, and process parental rejection, as well as focusing on how certain crucial experiences of rejection may impact clients' IH and mental health.

Keywords: LGBT; internalized homophobia; mental health; minority stress; parental rejection; social support..

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Fathers / psychology
  • Female
  • Homophobia / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Sexuality / psychology*
  • Social Support*
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Transgender Persons / psychology*
  • Young Adult