Gay and Bisexual Adolescent Boys’ Perspectives on Parent–Adolescent Relationships and Parenting Practices Related to Teen Sex and Dating
- 292 Downloads
Close parent–adolescent relationships and specific parenting practices (e.g., communication about sex, monitoring) are associated with reduced sexual risk behavior among heterosexual youth. Despite gay/bisexual male youth being at increased risk of HIV, little is known about parental influences on their sexual behavior. As such, the goal of the current study was to examine parent–adolescent relationships and parenting practices related to teen sex and dating from the perspective of gay/bisexual adolescent boys. Online focus groups were conducted with 52 gay/bisexual male youth ages 14–17 years. Most gay/bisexual adolescent boys felt that their sexual orientation had an influence on their relationships with their parents and discussions about sex/dating. Although some felt that their relationships improved after coming out, a larger percentage reported that it put strain on their relationships. Discussions about sex/dating generally decreased after coming out, but some youth described positive conversations with their parents. Many reported that their parents struggled with whether or not to adapt parenting practices (e.g., rules about dating) after they came out. Youth consistently noted that parent–adolescent relationships and parenting practices depended on the adolescent’s level of outness. Findings have important implications for refining HIV prevention programs for gay/bisexual adolescent boys, especially interventions that include parents.
KeywordsGay Bisexual Adolescents HIV Sexual orientation
Funding was provided by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (Grant No. R01MD009561; PIs: Fisher and Mustanski) and the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (PI: Newcomb). Brian A. Feinstein’s time was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Grant No. F32DA042708). The content of this article is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the view of the funding agencies.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Beckett, M. K., Elliott, M. N., Martino, S., Kanouse, D. E., Corona, R., Klein, D. J., & Schuster, M. A. (2010). Timing of parent and child communication about sexuality relative to children’s sexual behaviors. Pediatrics, 125, 34–42. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2009-0806.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- CDC. (2014). Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2014. In HIV surveillance report (Vol. 26).Google Scholar
- Cook, S. H., & Calebs, B. J. (2016). The integrated attachment and sexual minority stress model: Understanding the role of adult attachment in the health and well-being of sexual minority men. Behavioral Medicine, 42, 164–173. https://doi.org/10.1080/08964289.2016.1165173.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Dittus, P. J., Michael, S. L., Becasen, J. S., Gloppen, K. M., McCarthy, K., & Guilamo-Ramos, V. (2015). Parental monitoring and its associations with adolescent sexual risk behavior: A meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 136, e1587–e1599. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2015-0305.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- DuBois, L. Z., Macapagal, K. R., Rivera, Z., Prescott, T. L., Ybarra, M. L., & Mustanski, B. (2015). To have sex or not to have sex? An online focus group study of sexual decision making among sexually experienced and inexperienced gay and bisexual adolescent men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44, 2027–2040. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-015-0521-5.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Greene, G. J., Fisher, K. A., Kuper, L., Andrews, R., & Mustanski, B. (2015). “Is this normal? Is this not normal? There’s no set example”: Sexual health intervention preferences of LGBT youth in romantic relationships. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 12, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-014-0169-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Grov, C., Bimbi, D. S., Nanín, J. E., & Parsons, J. T. (2006). Race, ethnicity, gender, and generational factors associated with the coming-out process among gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals. Journal of Sex Research, 43, 115–121. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490609552306.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hadley, W., Brown, L. K., Lescano, C. M., Kell, H., Spalding, K., Diclemente, R., … Project STYLE Study Group. (2009). Parent–adolescent sexual communication: Associations of condom use with condom discussions. AIDS and Behavior, 13, 997–1004. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-008-9468-z.
- Huebner, D. M., Rullo, J. E., Thoma, B. C., McGarrity, L. A., & Mackenzie, J. (2013). Piloting lead with love: A film-based intervention to improve parents’ responses to their lesbian, gay, and bisexual children. Journal of Primary Prevention, 34, 359–369. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10935-013-0319-y.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Krueger, R. A. (2009). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research (4th (ed ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.Google Scholar
- Lezin, N., Rolleri, L., Bean, S., & Taylor, J. (2004). Parent–child connectedness: Implications for research, interventions and positive impacts on adolescent health. Santa Cruz, CA: ETR Associates.Google Scholar
- MacQueen, K. M., McLellan, E., Kay, K., & Milstein, B. (1998). Codebook development for team-based qualitative analysis. Field Methods, 10, 31–36.Google Scholar
- Markman, C. M., Lormand, D., Gloppen, K. M., Peskin, M. F., Flores, B., Low, B., & House, L. D. (2010). Connectedness as a predictor of sexual and reproductive health outcomes for youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 46(3 Suppl.), S23–S41.Google Scholar
- Miller, K. S., Lin, C. Y., Poulsen, M. N., Fasula, A., Wyckoff, S. C., Forehand, R., … Armistead, L. (2011). Enhancing HIV communication between parents and children: Efficacy of the Parents Matter! Program. AIDS Education and Prevention, 23, 550–563. https://doi.org/10.1521/aeap.2011.23.6.550.
- Moser, D. J., Schultz, S. K., Arndt, S., Benjamin, M. L., Fleming, F. W., Brems, C. S., … Andreasen, N. C. (2002). Capacity to provide informed consent for participation in schizophrenia and HIV research. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 1201–1207.Google Scholar
- Mustanski, B., Kuper, L., & Greene, G. J. (2014). Development of sexual orientation and identity. In D. L. Tolman & L. M. Diamond (Eds.), Handbook of sexuality and psychology (pp. 597–628). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Prado, G., Pantin, H., Briones, E., Schwartz, S. J., Feaster, D., Huang, S., … Szapocznik, J. (2007). A randomized controlled trial of a parent-centered intervention in preventing substance use and HIV risk behaviors in Hispanic adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75, 914–926. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.75.6.914.
- Prado, G., Pantin, H., Huang, S., Cordova, D., Tapia, M. I., Velazquez, M. R., … Estrada, Y. (2012). Effects of a family intervention in reducing HIV risk behaviors among high-risk Hispanic adolescents: A randomized controlled trial. Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, 166, 127–133. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.189.
- Rolleri, L., Bean, S., & Ecker, N. (2006). A logic model of parent–child connectedness: Using the behavior-determinant-intervention (BDI) logic model to identify parent behaviors necessary for connectedness with teen children. Santa Cruz, CA: ETR Associates.Google Scholar
- Rosario, M. (2015). Implications of childhood experiences for the health and adaptation of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals: Sensitivity to developmental process in future research. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2, 214–224. https://doi.org/10.1037/sgd0000120.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Santa Maria, D., Markham, C., Bluethmann, S., & Mullen, P. D. (2015). Parent-based adolescent sexual health interventions and effect on communication outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analyses. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 47, 37–50. https://doi.org/10.1363/47e2415.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Savin-Williams, R. C. (2003). Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths’ relationships with their parents. In L. D. Garnets & D. C. Kimmel (Eds.), Psychological perspectives on lesbian, gay, and bisexual experiences (2nd ed., pp. 299–326). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- Siegel, A. W., Cuccaro, P., Parsons, J. T., Wall, J., & Weinberg, A. D. (1993). Adolescents’ thinking about emotions and risk-taking. In J. M. Puckett & H. W. Reese (Eds.), Mechanisms of everyday cognition (pp. 155–175). Hillsdale, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Sutton, M. Y., Lasswell, S. M., Lanier, Y., & Miller, K. S. (2014). Impact of parent–child communication interventions on sex behaviors and cognitive outcomes for black/African-American and Hispanic/Latino youth: A systematic review, 1988–2012. Journal of Adolescent Health, 54, 369–384. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.11.004.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Taylor, S. J., & Bogdan, R. (1998). Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- UCSD Task Force on Decisional Capacity. (2003). Procedures for determination of decisional capacity in persons participating in research protocols. Retrieved from http://irb.ucsd.edu/decisional.shtml.
- Wang, B., Stanton, B., Deveaux, L., Li, X., Koci, V., & Lunn, S. (2014). The impact of parent involvement in an effective adolescent risk reduction intervention on sexual risk communication and adolescent outcomes. AIDS Education and Prevention, 26, 500–520. https://doi.org/10.1521/aeap.2014.26.6.500.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Ybarra, M. L., DuBois, L. Z., Parsons, J. T., Prescott, T. L., & Mustanski, B. (2014). Online focus groups as an HIV prevention program for gay, bisexual, and queer adolescent males. AIDS Education and Prevention, 26, 554–564. https://doi.org/10.1521/aeap.2014.26.6.554.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar