Sunday, August 22, 2010

Family Response Key to Health of Gay Youth – AP – The New York Times

Young gay people whose parents or guardians responded negatively when they revealed their sexual orientation were more likely to attempt suicide, experience severe depression and use drugs than those whose families accepted the news, according to a new study.

The way in which parents or guardians respond to a youth's sexual orientation profoundly influences the child's mental health as an adult, say researchers at San Francisco State University, whose findings appear in Monday's journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

''Parents love their children and want the best for them,'' said lead researcher Caitlin Ryan, a social worker who directs the university's Family Acceptance Project. ''Now that we have measured all these behaviors, we can see that some of them put youth at extremely high risk and others are wellness-promoting.''

Among other findings, the study showed that teens who experienced negative feedback were more than eight times as likely to have attempted suicide, nearly six times as vulnerable to severe depression and more than three times at risk of drug use.
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Family Acceptance Project - Caitlin Ryan, PhD

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