Study: Parental support leads to better health for gay, bisexual children
Researchers at Boston University School of Public Health recently conducted a study in which they determined that individuals who receive emotional support from their parents upon coming out with the news that they are gay or bisexual have fewer health problems later in life.
Authors of the study noted that the average 'coming out' age of the participants was 25, and that roughly two-thirds of the 5,658 respondents reported getting a positive reaction from their parents about the news.
Among the individuals who said their moms and dads were supportive, there were fewer cases of depression, drug use or binge drinking, compared to people who reported that their parents reacted negatively to their coming out.
"Given the high rates of suicide and self-harm among lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) youth - and the high costs of treating mental-health and substance-abuse disorders - it's critical that we understand what we can do to promote better health for LGB kids," said lead researcher Emily Rothman.
Parents of gay or bisexual youth or young adults may want to consider offering emotional support to their sons or daughters, as well as providing information on practicing safer sex and other sexual health issues.