Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and their families: disclosure of sexual orientation and its consequences

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 1998 Jul;68(3):361-71; discussion 372-5. doi: 10.1037/h0080345.


Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youngsters, aged 14-21 and living at home, were studied for patterns of disclosure of sexual orientation to families. Three-quarters had told at least one parent, more often the mother than the father. Those who had disclosed were generally more open about their sexual orientation than those who had not, and few of the nondisclosed expected parental acceptance. Those who had disclosed reported verbal and physical abuse by family members, and acknowledged more suicidality than those who had not "come out" to their families.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Bisexuality / psychology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nuclear Family / psychology
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Sexuality / psychology*
  • Sibling Relations
  • Social Adjustment
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Health
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data