For the first time, a new study directly links family rejection with an
increased risk of suicide, depression, drug use, and risky behavior in
lesbian, gay and bisexual young adults.
In "Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and Latino Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth", researchers surveyed 224 white and Latino young
adults, ages 21 to 25, on nine negative health indicators including
mental health, substance abuse and sexual risk. The results showed that
young adults who were rejected by their families as teens were 8.4 times
more likely to attempt suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high
levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and
3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual
intercourse compared to their peers who had experienced little or no
The study authors recommend counseling and early
intervention to better educate families on the long-term impact of
rejecting a child for sexual orientation or behavior.
The American Academy of
Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians,
pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists
dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children,
adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.