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Sexual orientation, parental support, and health during the transition to young adulthood.
J Youth Adolesc. 2010 Oct; 39(10):1189-98.JY

Abstract

Some recent studies suggest that sexual minorities may have worse health-related outcomes during adolescence because they report lower levels of family connectedness, a key protective resource. Using data from wave 3 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (n = 11,153; 50.6% female; mean age = 21.8 years), this study extends prior research on adolescents to young adults. We examine whether lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) young adults report lower levels of parental support than their heterosexual peers and whether differences in parental support help explain why LGB young adults tend to have worse health-related outcomes. We find that lesbian and bisexual women report lower levels of parental support than heterosexual women and that gay men report lower levels of parental support than bisexual and heterosexual men. Compared to heterosexual women, lesbian and bisexual women have higher odds of suicidal thoughts and recent drug use; bisexual women also have higher odds of elevated depressive symptomatology and heavy drinking. Gay men have higher odds of suicidal thoughts than heterosexual men. With the exception of heavy drinking, parental support either partially or fully mediates each of the observed associations. Even though the transition from adolescence to young adulthood is characterized by increased independence from parents, parental support remains an important correlate of health-related outcomes during this stage of life. Sexual minorities report lower levels of parental support during young adulthood, which helps explain why they have worse health-related outcomes. Interventions designed to strengthen relationships between LGB young adults and their parents could lead to a reduction in health disparities related to sexual orientation.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Sociology and Social Work, University of Alabama at Birmingham, HHB 460K, 1530 3rd Ave. S., Birmingham, AL 35294-1152, USA. bneedham@uab.eduNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20383570

Citation

Needham, Belinda L., and Erika L. Austin. "Sexual Orientation, Parental Support, and Health During the Transition to Young Adulthood." Journal of Youth and Adolescence, vol. 39, no. 10, 2010, pp. 1189-98.
Needham BL, Austin EL. Sexual orientation, parental support, and health during the transition to young adulthood. J Youth Adolesc. 2010;39(10):1189-98.
Needham, B. L., & Austin, E. L. (2010). Sexual orientation, parental support, and health during the transition to young adulthood. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(10), 1189-98. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-010-9533-6
Needham BL, Austin EL. Sexual Orientation, Parental Support, and Health During the Transition to Young Adulthood. J Youth Adolesc. 2010;39(10):1189-98. PubMed PMID: 20383570.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Sexual orientation, parental support, and health during the transition to young adulthood. AU - Needham,Belinda L, AU - Austin,Erika L, Y1 - 2010/04/10/ PY - 2010/01/21/received PY - 2010/03/31/accepted PY - 2010/4/13/entrez PY - 2010/4/13/pubmed PY - 2010/12/14/medline SP - 1189 EP - 98 JF - Journal of youth and adolescence JO - J Youth Adolesc VL - 39 IS - 10 N2 - Some recent studies suggest that sexual minorities may have worse health-related outcomes during adolescence because they report lower levels of family connectedness, a key protective resource. Using data from wave 3 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (n = 11,153; 50.6% female; mean age = 21.8 years), this study extends prior research on adolescents to young adults. We examine whether lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) young adults report lower levels of parental support than their heterosexual peers and whether differences in parental support help explain why LGB young adults tend to have worse health-related outcomes. We find that lesbian and bisexual women report lower levels of parental support than heterosexual women and that gay men report lower levels of parental support than bisexual and heterosexual men. Compared to heterosexual women, lesbian and bisexual women have higher odds of suicidal thoughts and recent drug use; bisexual women also have higher odds of elevated depressive symptomatology and heavy drinking. Gay men have higher odds of suicidal thoughts than heterosexual men. With the exception of heavy drinking, parental support either partially or fully mediates each of the observed associations. Even though the transition from adolescence to young adulthood is characterized by increased independence from parents, parental support remains an important correlate of health-related outcomes during this stage of life. Sexual minorities report lower levels of parental support during young adulthood, which helps explain why they have worse health-related outcomes. Interventions designed to strengthen relationships between LGB young adults and their parents could lead to a reduction in health disparities related to sexual orientation. SN - 1573-6601 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20383570/Sexual_orientation_parental_support_and_health_during_the_transition_to_young_adulthood_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-010-9533-6 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -