Parents’ response key to health of gay youth

Parents’ response key to health of gay youth

Kids with parents who reacted negatively 8 times more likely to try suicide

Some anti-gay individuals or websites have suggested the idea that just being non-heterosexual is what damages overall mental health for LGBTQ youth.  However, research is showing more and more that acceptance, support and even small efforts on the part of families to respond to the coming out of an LGBTQ child can greatly increase chances for wellness and happiness later on in life.   It always strikes me as odd that we have to “prove” something that makes so much common sense:  being accepted for who we are, and being loved and allowed to be ourselves increases resilience, wellness and happiness.

A recent study out of San Francisco State University, posted Dec. 29, 2008 on MSNBC is showing the incredible importance of family acceptance:

Among other findings, the study showed that teens who experienced negative feedback were more than eight times as likely to have attempted suicide, nearly six times as vulnerable to severe depression and more than three times at risk of drug use.

More significantly, Ryan said, ongoing work at San Francisco State suggests that parents who take even baby steps to respond with composure instead of rejection can dramatically improve a gay youth’s mental health outlook.

One of the most startling findings was that being forbidden to associate with gay peers was as damaging as being physically beaten or verbally abused by their parents in terms of negative feedback, Ryan said.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28420846/

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