Parents who accept and advocate for their non-heterosexual teens may be protecting them from depression and ill health as adults, suggests a new study on families with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) children.
Specific parental behaviors, such as advocating for their children when they are mistreated due to their LGBT identity and supporting their teen’s gender expression, were linked to a lower likelihood of depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in early adulthood, the researchers detail in the November issue of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing.
Extra support for LGBT teens may be warranted. Another study reported today (Dec. 6), this one in the January 2011 issue of the journal Pediatrics, suggests that LGB teens are more likely to be mistreated in the form of punishment from school authorities, police and the courts. Past research has also shown lesbian and gay teens are more likely to be bullied than their peers.