Parents of gay, lesbian and bisexual kids take years to adjust to their children coming out.
A new study has shown that parents of LGB youth struggle for years after finding out about their sexuality.
A study tackling the struggles of LGB kids
The research by George Washington University is the first of its kind to specifically tackle parents of LGB kids.
For the study, the researchers surveyed 1,200 parents of LGB youth ages 10 to 25.
They answered questions like, ‘How hard is it for you, knowing that your son or daughter is LBG?’
Significantly, the study has found little difference between the responses of mothers and fathers whose child had just come out compared to those who had years to process the new information.
Parents still struggle after their kids have come out
‘Surprisingly, we found that parents who knew about a child’s sexual orientation for two years struggled as much as parents who had recently learned the news,’ said David Huebner, a lead researcher for the study.
‘Two years is a very long time in the life of a child who is faced with the stress of a disapproving or rejecting parent.’
The study also highlighted that parents of older children had a tougher time, but both mothers and fathers had similar struggles.
Parents need to speed up their adjustment process
Recent research also showed that nine in 10 LGBTI young people in the UK experience anxiety or depression. Knowing that one’s closest family members aren’t accepting of their sexuality might also impact LGBTI kids’ mental health.
Moreover, Huebner feels strongly that mothers and fathers who have a difficult time adjusting still genuinely care about their children and eventually do come around.
‘Our results suggest interventions to speed up the adjustment process would help not only the parents but also their children,’ said Huebner.
‘LGB youth with accepting families are more likely to thrive as they enter adulthood.’