Existing theories of child and family development have rarely been applied to the families of same-sex-attracted young people. This review employs family stress theory as a framework to understand parental reactions to their child's sexual orientation disclosure and the impact of parental reactions on child and family development. Empirical evidence is reviewed to support the notion that parental reactions may depend on (1) the availability of family-based resources to manage the stress, (2) the meaning attributed to the stressful event, and (3) the pileup of co-occurring stressors taxing a family's coping resources. Empirical links between parental reactions and child outcomes are also discussed. There is need for research on individual, dyadic, and family factors that influence parental responses to their child's same-sex attractions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology