Families of gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth: What do parents and siblings know and how do they react?

Anthony R. D'Augelli, Arnold H. Grossman, Michael T. Starks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parents' and siblings' awareness of GLB youths' sexual orientation and their reactions were examined in a sample of 516 GLB youth. Youth expected unaware parents to have negative reactions. Less than one-quarter lived with siblings who did not know about their sexual orientation. Youth with only one sibling were more likely to be known by these siblings than youth with several siblings. Few adjustment indicators were associated with parental or sibling knowledge or reactions. Compared to youth not living with parents, those living with parents experienced significantly less verbal abuse from parents related to their sexual orientation but reported less family support. Youth whose parents and siblings knew about their sexual orientation and who reacted positively became aware of their same-sex attractions, identified as GLB, and first disclosed their sexual orientation at earlier ages. Although such youth reported more past verbal harassment based on their sexual orientation from their families, they worried less about rejection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-115
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of GLBT Family Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Coming out
  • Disclosure of sexual orientation
  • GLB youth
  • Homosexuality
  • Parent-child relations
  • Sibling relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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