Parental reactions to their sons' sexual orientation disclosures: The roles of family cohesion, adaptability, and parenting style

Brian L.B. Willoughby, Neena M Malik, Kristin M. Lindahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

The factors associated with parental reactions to their child's sexual orientation disclosure are poorly understood and require further empirical investigation. The current study investigated whether family dynamics before disclosure were associated with parental reactions to their sons' coming out episodes. Participants included 72 gay men recruited from organizations for gay young adults. Results indicated that men reporting to be from cohesive, adaptable, and authoritative families prior to coming out perceived their parents' reactions as less negative compared with men reporting to be from disconnected, rigid, and authoritarian families. These results are consistent with family stress theory, which suggests that having family level resources in place prior to the onset of a stressor may buffer the effects of a crisis event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-26
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

Keywords

  • Adaptability
  • Cohesion
  • Coming out
  • Gay men
  • Parenting style

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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