A Systematic Review of Parental Influences on the Health and Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: Time for a New Public Health Research and Practice Agenda
Relatively little is known about how parents influence the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adolescents and young adults. This gap has led to a paucity of parent-based interventions for LGB young people. A systematic literature review on parental influences on the health of LGB youth was conducted to better understand how to develop a focused program of applied public health research. Five specific areas of health among LGB young people aged 10–24 years old were examined: (a) sexual behavior; (b) substance use; (c) violence and victimization; (d) mental health; and (e) suicide. A total of 31 quantitative articles were reviewed, the majority of which were cross-sectional and relied on convenience samples. Results indicated a trend to focus on negative, and not positive, parental influences. Other gaps included a dearth of research on sexual behavior, substance use, and violence/victimization; limited research on ethnic minority youth and on parental influences identified as important in the broader prevention science literature; and no studies reporting parent perspectives. The review highlights the need for future research on how parents can be supported to promote the health of LGB youth. Recommendations for strengthening the research base are provided.
KeywordsParental influences Gay Lesbian Bisexual Same-sex attraction Adolescents Young adults Health risk behavior Sexual behavior Mental health Violence Victimization Suicide Substance use
- Bandura, A. (1975). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Binson, D., Blair, J., Huebner, D. M., & Woods, W. J. (2007). Sampling in surveys of lesbian, gay and bisexual people. In I. H. Meyer & M. E. Northridge (Eds.), The health of sexual minorities: Public health perspectives on the health of sexual minorities (pp. 376–418). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
- Campsmith, M. L., Rhodes, P., Hall, H. I., & Green, T. (2008). HIV prevalence estimates—United States, 2006. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, 57, 1073–1076.Google Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2006). Advancing the nation’s health: A guide to public health research needs, 2006–2015. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/od/science/PHResearch/cdcra/AdvancingTheNationsHealth.pdf.
- Crouter, A. C., & Booth, A. (2003). Children’s influence on family dynamics: The neglected side of family relationships. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- D’Augelli, A. R. (2002). Mental health problems among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths ages 14–21. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 7(3), 433–456.Google Scholar
- Espelage, D. L., Aragon, S. R., Birkett, M., & Koenig, B. W. (2008). Homophobic teasing, psychological outcomes, and sexual orientation among high school students: What influence do parents and schools have? School Psychology Review, 37(2), 202–216.Google Scholar
- Ford, C. A., Pence, B. W., Miller, W. C., Resnick, M. D., Bearinger, L. H., Pettineell, S., et al. (2005). Predicting adolescents’ longitudinal risk for sexually transmitted infection: Results from the national longitudinal study of adolescent health. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 159, 657–664.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Guilamo-Ramos, V., Jaccard, J., Dittus, P., Bouris, A., Holloway, I., & Casillas, E. (2007). Adolescent expectancies, parent-adolescent communication, and intentions to have sexual intercourse among inner city, middle school youth. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 34(1), 56–66.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Guilamo-Ramos, V., Jaccard, J., Dittus, P., Gonzalez, B., Bouris, A., & Banspach, S. (2010). The linking lives health education program: A randomized clinical trial of a parent-based tobacco use prevention program for African American and Latino youths. American Journal of Public Health, 100(9), 1641–1647.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Maccoby, E., & Martin, J. (1983). Socialization in the context of the family: Parent–child interaction. In E. M. Hetherington (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. IV. Socialization, personality, and social development (4th ed., pp. 1–101). New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Maher, M. J., Landini, K., Emano, D. M., Knight, A. M., Lantz, G. D., Parrie, M., et al. (2010). Hirschfeld to Hooker to Herek to high schools: A study of the history and development of GLBT empirical research, institutional policies, and the relationship between the two. Journal of Homosexuality, 56(7), 921–958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mize, J., Russell, A., & Pettit, G. S. (1998). Further explorations of family—peer connections: The role of parenting practices and parenting style in children’s development of social competence. In P. T. Slee & K. Rigsby (Eds.), Children’s peer relations (pp. 31–44). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Pequegnat, W., & Szapocznik, J. (2000). Working with families in the era of HIV. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Savin-Williams, R. C. (1998). Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths’ relationships with their parents. In C. J. Patterson & A. R. D’Augelli (Eds.), Lesbian, gay, and bisexual identities and the family: Psychological perspectives (pp. 75–98). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Schneider, S. G., Farberow, N. L., & Kruks, G. N. (1989). Suicidal behavior in adolescent and young adult gay men. Suicide and Life Threatening Behaviors, 19(4), 381–394.Google Scholar
- Stanton, B., Cole, M., Galbraith, J., Xioonling, L., Pendleton, S., Lesley, C., et al. (2004). Randomized trial of a parent intervention: Parents can make a difference in long-term adolescent risk behaviors, perceptions, and knowledge. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 158(10), 947–955.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Thomas, R. E., Baker, P., & Lorenzetti, D. (2007). Family-based programmes for preventing smoking by children and adolescents. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 1: CD004493. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004493.pub2.
- Turrisi, R., Mastroleo, N. R., Mallett, K. A., Larimer, M. E., & Kilmer, J. R. (2007). Examination of the mediational influences of peer norms, environmental influences, and parent communications on heavy drinking in athletes and non-athletes. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 21(4), 453–461.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- White, H. D. (1994). Scientific communication and literature retrieval. In H. Cooper & L. V. Hedges (Eds.), The handbook of research synthesis (pp. 41–56). New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar