Memories of the coming out experience in parents and their adult children
LE3 .A278 2019
Bachelor of Science
Coming out, or revealing oneself to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. (LGBTQ+) can be highly stressful, due to fear of parental disapproval or rejection. Previous research has shown that both parental approval and disapproval can predict the identity formation, mental well-being, and physical health of LGBTQ+ youth. Previous studies of the coming out experience have assessed the experience from the adult child’s perspective, and occasionally the parent’s perspective, but never from both simultaneously. The current study examines how the memories of the coming out experience from both the adult child and a parent predict the psychological well-being and internalized homophobia of the adult child. Fifty adult child/parent pairs completed an online survey that collected qualitative and quantitative memories of the coming out experience, as well as data pertaining to the mental health and internalized homophobia of the adult children. Polynomial regression with response surface analysis was used to analyze both perspectives simultaneously as predictors of the adult child’s mental health and internalized homophobia. No significant results were found, but there were interesting trends shown in the results that will be discussed.
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