-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Positive family attitudes
and behaviors towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
teens reduce their risk of depression, substance abuse and suicidal
thoughts when they become young adults, a new study finds.
The study authors also found that those adolescents with highly
accepting families have much higher levels of self-esteem and
social support when they're young adults.
The study included 245 white and Hispanic LGBT young adults,
aged 21 to 25, in California who were open about their sexual
orientation to at least one parent or caregiver during
Examples of positive parental and caregiver support include
supporting their gender expression or advocating for their children
when they are mistreated because of their LGBT identity.
"At a time when the media and families are becoming acutely aware of the risk that many LGBT youth experience, our findings that family acceptance protects against suicidal thoughts and behaviors, depression and substance abuse offer a gateway to hope for LGBT youth and families that struggle with how to balance deeply held religious and personal values with love for their LGBT children," study author Caitlin Ryan, director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, said in a university news release.
The study appears in the current issue of the
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing.
The findings provide "the strongest evidence to date that
acceptance and support from parents and caregivers promote
well-being among LGBT youth and help protect them from depression
and suicidal behavior," Ann P. Haas, director of prevention
projects for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said
in the news release.
"These findings open the door to a whole new focus on how families can be helped to more fully engage in the kind of behaviors that reduce suicide risk in LGBT adolescents and young adults," Haas added.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has more
gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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