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Learning That an Adolescent Child Is Gay or Lesbian: The Parent Experience

Learning That an Adolescent Child Is Gay or Lesbian: The Parent Experience,Susan Saltzburg

Learning That an Adolescent Child Is Gay or Lesbian: The Parent Experience   (Citations: 34)
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Increasing numbers of adolescents are disclosing their sexual orientation to parents at an earlier stage of the family life cycle than their predecessors. Although we know that parents are coexperiencing the range of difficulties reflected in reports of gay and lesbian youths after disclosure, there is a paucity of investigative research exploring the parents' side of adolescent disclosure. The precarious nature of adolescence places these parents in a different set of circumstances than parents of gay adults. This article draws from a study that examined the parent experience at the adolescent stage of the family life cycle. The study explored the meaning parents ascribe to learning that an adolescent is gay or lesbian, how adolescent disclosure affects the solidarity of the parent-child relationship, and what interventions support healthy parent adjustment. Implications for competent social work practice with parents of gay and lesbian adolescents are addressed.
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