American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 421–448 | Cite as

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth in community settings: Personal challenges and mental health problems

  • Anthony R. D'Augelli
  • Scott L. Hershberger
Article

Abstract

Studied 194 lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth aged 21 and younger who attended programs in 14 community centers to determine the personal challenges they face due to their sexual orientation and their responses to these stresses. First awareness of sexual orientation typically occurred at age 10, but disclosure to another person did not occur until about age 16. There was much variability in sexual behavior, and many youths reported both same-sex and opposite-sex sexual experiences. Although most had told at least one family member about their sexual orientation, there remained much concern about family reactions. Suicide attempts were acknowledged by 42% of the sample. Attempters significantly differed from nonattempters on several milestones of sexual orientation development, social aspects of sexual orientation, parents' knowledge of sexual orientation, and mental health problems.

Key words

sexual orientation lesbian, gay, bisexual, youth suicide 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony R. D'Augelli
    • 1
  • Scott L. Hershberger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park
  2. 2.Center for Developmental and Health Research MethodologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUSA

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