Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 417–430 | Cite as

Identity Profiles in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: The Role of Family Influences

  • Hallie R. Bregman
  • Neena M. Malik
  • Matthew J. L. Page
  • Emily Makynen
  • Kristin M. Lindahl
Empirical Research

Abstract

Sexual identity development is a central task of adolescence and young adulthood and can be especially challenging for sexual minority youth. Recent research has moved from a stage model of identity development in lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth to examining identity in a non-linear, multidimensional manner. In addition, although families have been identified as important to youth’s identity development, limited research has examined the influence of parental responses to youth’s disclosure of their LGB sexual orientation on LGB identity. The current study examined a multidimensional model of LGB identity and its links with parental support and rejection. One hundred and sixty-nine LGB adolescents and young adults (ages 14–24, 56 % male, 48 % gay, 31 % lesbian, 21 % bisexual) described themselves on dimensions of LGB identity and reported on parental rejection, sexuality-specific social support, and non-sexuality-specific social support. Using latent profile analysis (LPA), two profiles were identified, indicating that youth experience both affirmed and struggling identities. Results indicated that parental rejection and sexuality-specific social support from families were salient links to LGB identity profile classification, while non-sexuality specific social support was unrelated. Parental rejection and sexuality-specific social support may be important to target in interventions for families to foster affirmed LGB identity development in youth.

Keywords

Gay Lesbian Bisexual Sexual minority Parental rejection Social support 

References

  1. Archer, S. L., & Grey, J. A. (2009). The sexual domain of identity: Sexual statuses of identity in relation to psychosocial sexual health. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 9(1), 33–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. The American Psychologist, 55, 469–480.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Badgett, L. (2009). Best practices for asking questions about sexual orientation on surveys. UC Los Angeles: The Williams Institute.Google Scholar
  4. Balsam, K. F., & Mohr, J. J. (2007). Adaptation to sexual orientation stigma: A comparison of bisexual and lesbian/gay adults. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54(3), 306–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beals, K., & Peplau, L. A. (2006). Disclosure patterns within social networks of gay men and lesbians. Journal of Homosexuality, 51(2), 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beeler, J., & DiProva, V. (1999). Family adjustment following disclosure of homosexuality by a member: Themes discerned in narrative accounts. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 25, 443–459.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Berenson, K. R., Crawford, T. N., Cohen, P., & Brook, J. (2005). Implications of identification with parents and parents’ acceptance for adolescent and young adult self-esteem. Self and Identity, 4(3), 289–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Branje, S. T., van Aken, M. G., & van Lieshout, C. M. (2002). Relational support in families with adolescents. Journal of Family Psychology, 16(3), 351–362.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cass, V. C. (1979). Homosexual identity formation: A theoretical model. Journal of Homosexuality, 4(3), 219–235.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 155–159.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cooley, C. H. (1902). Human nature and the social order. New York: Scribner’s.Google Scholar
  12. D’Augelli, A. R. (2002). Mental health problems among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths ages 14 to 21. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 7, 433–456.Google Scholar
  13. D’Augelli, A. R., Hershberger, S. L., & Pilkington, N. W. (1998). Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and their families: Disclosure of sexual orientation and its consequences. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 68, 361–371.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. D’Augelli, A. R., & Hershberger, S. L. (1993). Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth in community settings: Personal challenges and mental health problems. American Journal of Community Psychology, 21, 421–448.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Diamond, L. M. (2007). A dynamical systems approach to the development and expression of female same-sex sexuality. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2(2), 142–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Doty, N., Willoughby, B. B., Lindahl, K. M., & Malik, N. M. (2010). Sexuality related social support among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(10), 1134–1147.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Floyd, F. J., & Stein, T. S. (2002). Sexual orientation identity formation among gay, lesbian and bisexual youths: Multiple patterns of milestone. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 12(2), 167–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Floyd, F. J., Stein, T. S., Harter, K. 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(6), 719–739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gallor, S. M., & Fassinger, R. E. (2010). Social support, ethnic identity, and sexual identity of lesbians and gay men. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services: The Quarterly Journal of Community & Clinical Practice, 22(3), 287–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hawker, D. J., & Boulton, M. J. (2000). Twenty years’ research on peer victimization and psychosocial maladjustment: A meta-analytic review of cross-sectional studies. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41(4), 441–455.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Henson, J. M., Reise, S. P., & Kim, K. (2007). Detecting mixtures from structural model differences using latent variable mixture modeling: A comparison of relative model-fit statistics. Structural Equation Modeling, 14, 202–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Herek, G. M. (1994). Assessing heterosexuals’ attitudes toward lesbians and gay men: A review of empirical research with the ATLG scale. In B. Greene, G. M. Herek, B. Greene, & G. M. Herek (Eds.), Lesbian and gay psychology: Theory, research, and clinical applications (pp. 206–228). Thousand Oaks, CA US: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  23. Lesbian Gay Bisexual Youth Sexual Orientation Measurement Work Group. (2003). Measuring sexual orientation of young people in health research. San Francisco, CA: Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.Google Scholar
  24. Little, R. J. A. (1995). Modeling the drop-out mechanism in repeated-measures studies. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 90(431), 1112–1121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lo, Y., Mendell, N. R., & Rubin, D. B. (2001). Testing the number of components in a normal mixture. Biometrika, 88, 767–778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Marcia, J. E. (1966). Development and validation of ego identity status. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 3, 551–558.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Margulis, S. T. (2003). Privacy as a social issue and behavioral concept. Journal of Social Issues, 59(2), 243–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McCutcheon, A. C. (1987). Latent class analysis. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  29. McLachlan, G. (1987). On bootstrapping the likelihood ratio test statistic for the number of components in a normal mixture. Applied Statistics, 36, 318–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McLachlan, G., & Peel, D. (2000). Finite mixture models. New York: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, self and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  32. Meeus, W. (2011). The study of adolescent identity formation 2000–2010: A review of longitudinal research. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(1), 75–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Meyer, I. H., & Colten, M. (1999). Sampling gay men: Random digit dialing versus sources in the gay community. Journal of Homosexuality, 37(4), 99–110.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mohr, J. J., & Fassinger, R. E. (2000). Measuring dimensions of lesbian and gay male experience. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 33, 66–90.Google Scholar
  35. Mohr, J. J., & Fassinger, R. E. (2003). Self-acceptance and self-disclosure of sexual orientation in lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults: An attachment perspective. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 50(4), 482–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mohr, J. J., & Kendra, M. S. (2011). Revision and extension of a multidimensional measure of sexual minority identity: The Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Identity Scale. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58(2), 234–245.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Morris, J. F. (1997). Lesbian coming out as a multidimensional process. Journal of Homosexuality, 33, 1–22.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Morris, J. F., Waldo, C. R., & Rothblum, E. D. (2001). A model of predictors and outcomes of outness among lesbian and bisexual women. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 71(1), 61–71.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Muthén, B. (2001). Second-generation structural equation modeling with a combination of categorical and continuous latent variables: New opportunities for latent class–latent growth modeling. In L. M. Collins, A. G. Sayer, L. M. Collins, & A. G. Sayer (Eds.), New methods for the analysis of change (pp. 291–322). Washington, DC US: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2012). Mplus user’s guide, 6th edn. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
  41. Muthén, B., & Muthén, L. K. (2000). Integrating person-centered and variable-centered analyses: Growth mixture modeling with latent trajectory classes. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 24(6), 882–891.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Muthén, B., & Shedden, K. (1999). Finite mixture modeling with mixture outcomes using the EM algorithm. Biometrics, 55, 463–469.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Newcomb, M. E., & Mustanski, B. (2010). Internalized homophobia and internalizing mental health problems: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(8), 1019–1029.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Nylund, K. L., Asparouhov, T., & Muthén, B. (2007). Deciding on the number of classes in latent class analysis and growth mixture modeling: A Monte Carlo simulation study. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 14, 535–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Robertson, J. F., & Simons, R. L. (1989). Family factors, self-esteem, and adolescent depression. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51(1), 125–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Robinson, N. S. (1995). Evaluating the nature of perceived support and its relation to perceived self-worth in adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 5(2), 253–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rosario, M., Hunter, J., Maguen, S., Gwadz, M., & Smith, R. (2001). The coming-out process and its adaptational and health-related associations among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths: Stipulation and exploration of a model. American Journal of Community Psychology, 29(1), 113–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rosario, M., Schrimshaw, E. W., & Hunter, J. (2004). Ethnic/racial differences in the coming-out process of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths: A comparison of sexual identity development over time. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 10(3), 215–228.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rosario, M., Schrimshaw, E. W., & Hunter, J. (2008). Predicting different patterns of sexual identity development over time among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths: A cluster analytic approach. American Journal of Community Psychology, 42(3–4), 266–282.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rosario, M., Schrimshaw, E. W., & Hunter, J. (2011). Different patterns of sexual identity development over time: Implications for the psychological adjustment of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths. Journal of Sex Research, 48(1), 3–15.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ryan, C., Huebner, D., Diaz, R., & Sanchez, J. (2009). Family rejection as a predictor of negative health outcomes in white and Latino lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults. Pediatrics, 123(1), 346.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Ryan, C., Russell, S. T., Huebner, D., Diaz, R., & Sanchez, J. (2010). Family acceptance in adolescence and the health of LGBT young adults. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 23(4), 205–213.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Saewyc, E. M. (2011). Research on adolescent sexual orientation: Development, health disparities, stigma, and resilience. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(1), 256–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Savin-Williams, R. C. (1989). Coming out to parents and self-esteem among gay and lesbian youths. Journal of Homosexuality, 18, 1–35.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Savin-Williams, R. C. (2001). A critique of research on sexual-minority youths. Journal of Adolescence, 24(1), 5–13.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Savin-Williams, R. C., & Diamond, L. M. (2000). Sexual identity trajectories among sexual-minority youths: Gender comparisons. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 29, 419–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Schafer, J. L., & Graham, J. W. (2002). Missing data: Our view of the state of the art. Psychological Methods, 7(2), 147–177.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Schwarz, G. (1978). Estimating the dimension of a model. Statistics, 6, 461–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sclove, L. (1987). Application of model-selection criteria to some problems in multivariate analysis. Psychometrika, 52, 333–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Troiden, R. R. (1988). Gay and lesbian identity: A sociological analysis. Dix Hills, NY: General Hall.Google Scholar
  61. Vaux, A., Riedel, S., & Stewart, D. (1987). Modes of social support: The social support behaviors (SS-B) scale. American Journal of Community Psychology, 15, 209–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Vermunt, J. K., & Magidson, J. (2002). Latent class cluster analysis. In J. A. Hagenaars & A. L. McCutcheon (Eds.), Advances in latent class analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Westin, A. F. (1967). Privacy and freedom. New York: Atheneum.Google Scholar
  64. Willoughby, B. B., & Doty, N. D. (2010). Brief cognitive behavioral family therapy following a child’s coming out: A case report. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 17(1), 37–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Willoughby, B. B., Doty, N. D., & Malik, N. M. (2010). Victimization, family rejection, and outcomes of gay, lesbian, and bisexual young people: The role of negative GLB identity. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 6(4), 403–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Willoughby, B. B., Malik, N. M., & Lindahl, K. M. (2006). Parental reactions to their sons’ sexual orientation disclosures: The roles of family cohesion, adaptability, and parenting style. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 7(1), 14–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Worthington, R. L., Navarro, R. L., Savoy, H., & Hampton, D. (2008). Development, reliability, and validity of the Measure of Sexual Identity Exploration and Commitment (MOSIEC). Developmental Psychology, 44(1), 22–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Yang, C. (2006). Evaluating latent class analyses in qualitative phenotype identification. Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, 50, 1090–1104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hallie R. Bregman
    • 1
  • Neena M. Malik
    • 2
  • Matthew J. L. Page
    • 1
  • Emily Makynen
    • 1
  • Kristin M. Lindahl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA

Personalised recommendations