Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Parents of gays-Psychology, Parents of gays-Attitudes, Parent and child, Coming out (Sexual orientation), Lesbians-Family relationships, Gay men-Family relationships, Bisexuals-Family relationships, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Parents, Acceptance, Children, Attitudes, Adjustment, Identity, Relationship


This study explored the following question: How do parents adjust to the disclosure of their child's lesbian, gay, or bisexual identity? The purpose of this study was to focus on the parent of a LGB child in order to understand their reactions to their child's sexuality, their process of adjusting to their child's LGB identity, and to determine the impact it may have on the parents' relationship with their child. The study included two methodology components: an online anonymous survey and an in-person interview. The sample pool was comprised of sixty-one parents through the online survey and three parents who participated in the in-person interview. The major findings of this exploratory study indicated that parents experienced both negative and positive reactions to the disclosure of their child's sexual orientation. The closeness of parent-child relationship, communication styles, and parents' personal attitudes regarding LGB identities prior to their child's disclosure were influential in parents' reactions and responses to their child's disclosure.




iv, 77 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 59-61)