Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Gay teenagers-Substance abuse, Bisexual teenagers-Substance abuse, Lesbian teenagers-Substance abuse, Coming out (Sexual orientation), Parental rejection-Psychological aspects, Qualitative research, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Adolescents, Substance abuse, Coming out, Parental rejection


Very few studies have examined how parental rejection impacts substance use or abuse behaviors among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents. The purpose of this study was to explore lesbian, gay, and bisexual men and women's experiences with substance use or abuse after experiencing parental rejection upon coming out in adolescence. This qualitative study looked at the unique experiences of coming out during adolescence through in-person interviews with twelve lesbian, gay, and bisexual men and women,. Narratives from these interviews were obtained through a structured self-created interview guide, consisting of open-ended questions. Findings varied among each participant, but shared themes also emerged in regards to parental reactions and the increased level of substances used after coming out. Due to a lack of literature in this area, the findings of this study may contribute to a larger body of research examining this phenomenon. Each participant included in this study experienced parental rejection, and some form of substance use or abuse after coming out. While each person found it difficult to cope with parental rejection, those who had an identified support system reported higher levels of resiliency and development of coping skills.




iii, 47 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 41-42)

Limited Access until August 2020