Advertisement

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 47, Issue 6, pp 1825–1837 | Cite as

Gay and Bisexual Adolescent Boys’ Perspectives on Parent–Adolescent Relationships and Parenting Practices Related to Teen Sex and Dating

  • Brian A. Feinstein
  • Matthew Thomann
  • Ryan Coventry
  • Kathryn Macapagal
  • Brian Mustanski
  • Michael E. Newcomb
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Gay Bisexual Adolescents HIV Sexual orientation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

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.

Ethical approval

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

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. 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
  2. Carey, M. A., & Smith, M. W. (1994). Capturing the group effect in focus groups: A special concern in analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 4, 123–127.  https://doi.org/10.1177/104973239400400108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. CDC. (2014). Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2014. In HIV surveillance report (Vol. 26).Google Scholar
  4. 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
  5. Dilorio, C., Resnicow, K., McCarty, F., De, A. K., Dudley, W. N., Wang, D. T., & Denzmore, P. (2006). Keepin’ It R.E.A.L! Results of a mother-adolescent HIV prevention program. Nursing Research, 55, 43–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dishion, T. J., & McMahon, R. J. (1998). Parental monitoring and the prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior: A conceptual and empirical formulation. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 1, 61–75.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Dunlap, A. (2016). Changes in coming out milestones across five age cohorts. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 28, 20–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Floyd, F. J., Stein, T. S., Harter, K. S. M., Allison, A., & Nye, C. L. (1999). Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths: Separation-individuation, parental attitudes, identity consolidation, and well-being. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 28, 719–739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fox, F. E., Morris, M., & Rumsey, N. (2007). Doing synchronous online focus groups with young people: Methodological reflections. Qualitative Health Research, 17, 539–547.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732306298754.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Guilamo-Ramos, V., Jaccard, J., Dittus, P., & Bouris, A. M. (2006). Parental expertise, trustworthiness, and accessibility: Parent–adolescent communication and adolescent risk behavior. Journal of Marriage & the Family, 68, 1229–1246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. Hutchinson, M. K., Jemmott, J. B., Jemmott, L. S., Braverman, P., & Fong, G. T. (2003). The role of mother–daughter sexual risk communication in reducing sexual risk behaviors among urban adolescent females: A prospective study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 33, 98–107.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Jessor, R. (1992). Risk behavior in adolescence: A psychosocial framework for understanding and action. Developmental Review, 12, 374–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kincaid, C., Jones, D. J., Sterrett, E., & McKee, L. (2012). A review of parenting and adolescent sexual behavior: The moderating role of gender. Clinical Psychology Review, 32, 177–188.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2012.01.002.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Krueger, R. A. (2009). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research (4th (ed ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.Google Scholar
  21. Kubicek, K., Beyer, W. J., Weiss, G., Iverson, E., & Kipke, M. D. (2010). In the dark: Young men’s stories of sexual initiation in the absence of relevant sexual health information. Health Education & Behavior, 37, 243–263.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1090198109339993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. LaSala, M. C. (2015). Condoms and connection: Parents, gay and bisexual youth, and HIV risk. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 41, 451–464.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jmft.12088.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 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
  24. Macapagal, K., Coventry, R., Arbeit, M. R., Fisher, C. B., & Mustanski, B. (2017). “I won’t out myself just to do a survey”: Sexual and gender minority adolescents’ perspectives on the risks and benefits of sex research. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46, 1393–1409.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. MacQueen, K. M., McLellan, E., Kay, K., & Milstein, B. (1998). Codebook development for team-based qualitative analysis. Field Methods, 10, 31–36.Google Scholar
  26. Maguen, S., Floyd, F. J., Bakeman, R., & Armistead, L. (2002). Developmental milestones and disclosure of sexual orientation among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 23, 219–233.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0193-3973(02)00105-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 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
  28. Martos, A., Nezhad, S., & Meyer, I. H. (2015). Variations in sexual identity milestones among lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 12, 24–33.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-014-0167-4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. McHugh, M. L. (2012). Interrater reliability: The kappa statistic. Biochemical Medicine, 22, 276–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 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.
  31. 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
  32. Mustanski, B. (2011). Ethical and regulatory issues with conducting sexuality research with LGBT adolescents: A call to action for a scientifically informed approach. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 673–686.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-011-9745-1.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 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
  34. Mustanski, B., Newcomb, M., & Garofalo, R. (2011). Mental health of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth: A developmental resiliency perspective. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 23, 204–225.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10538720.2011.561474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Dickinson, W. B., Leech, N. L., & Zoran, A. G. (2009). A qualitative framework for collecting and analyzing data in focus group research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 8, 21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pantin, H., Schwartz, S. J., Sullivan, S., Prado, G., & Szapocznik, J. (2004). Ecodevelopmental HIV prevention programs for Hispanic adolescents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 74, 545–558.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0002-9432.74.4.545.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Parsons, J. T., Siegel, A. W., & Cousins, J. H. (1997). Late adolescent risk-taking: Effects of perceived benefits and perceived risks on behavioral intentions and behavioral change. Journal of Adolescence, 20, 381–392.  https://doi.org/10.1006/jado.1997.0094.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Pequegnat, W., & Bell, C. C. (2012). Family and HIV/AIDS : Cultural and contextual issues in prevention and treatment. New York: Springer Science + Business Media.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. Richter, B. E. J., Lindahl, K. M., & Malik, N. M. (2017). Examining ethnic differences in parental rejection of LGB youth sexual identity. Journal of Family Psychology, 31, 244–249.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. Rose, I. D., Friedman, D. B., Annang, L., Spencer, S. M., & Lindley, L. L. (2014). Health communication practices among parents and sexual minority youth. Journal of LGBT Youth, 11, 316–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ryan, C., Huebner, D., Diaz, R. M., & Sanchez, J. (2009). Family rejection as a predictor of negative health outcomes in white and Latino lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults. Pediatrics, 123, 346–352.  https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2007-3524.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 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
  47. Santelli, J., Ott, M. A., Lyon, M., Rogers, J., Summers, D., & Schleifer, R. (2006). Abstinence and abstinence-only education: A review of U.S. policies and programs. Journal of Adolescent Health, 38, 72–81.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2005.10.006.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. 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
  49. 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
  50. Stattin, H., & Kerr, M. (2000). Parental monitoring: A reinterpretation. Child Development, 71, 1072–1085.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Steinberg, L. (2008). A social neuroscience perspective on adolescent risk-taking. Developmental Review, 28, 78–106.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2007.08.002.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. 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
  53. Taylor, S. J., & Bogdan, R. (1998). Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  54. Thoma, B. C., & Huebner, D. M. (2014). Parental monitoring, parent–adolescent communication about sex, and sexual risk among young men who have sex with men. AIDS and Behavior, 18, 1604–1614.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-014-0717-z.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  55. 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.
  56. 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
  57. Widman, L., Choukas-Bradley, S., Noar, S. M., Nesi, J., & Garrett, K. (2016). Parent–adolescent sexual communication and adolescent safer sex behavior: A meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics, 170, 52–61.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.2731.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  58. Wight, D., & Fullerton, D. (2013). A review of interventions with parents to promote the sexual health of their children. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52, 4–27.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.04.014.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. 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

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Social SciencesNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and WellbeingNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Anthropology and SociologyKalamazoo CollegeKalamazooUSA

Personalised recommendations