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Mental Health, Substance-abuse Problems Lower among LGB Adults Accepted by Parents
Posted: April 22, 2012
Receiving emotional support and acceptance from parents benefits the long-term health of lesbian, gay and bisexual adults, according to a study tittled Parents' supportive reactions to sexual orientation disclosure associated with better health: results from a population-based survey of LGB adults in Massachusetts. The study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Homosexuality
About three-quarters of lesbian, gay and bisexual adults aged 18 to 64 surveyed in Massachusetts said they had revealed their sexual orientation to their parents, typically when they were about 25 years old. About two-thirds said their parents were supportive. Rates of mental health and substance-abuse problems were significantly lower among those who received support from their parents than among those who felt rejected, the study found. For example, gay and bisexual men who felt rejected by their parents had a six to seven times increased risk of binge drinking and serious depression, while lesbian and bisexual women whose parents did not support them had a fivefold increased risk of serious depression and an 11-fold increased risk of illicit drug use.