what would you do....

...if your adolescent child told you they were lesbian, gay, transgender or bisexual (LGTB) ???

While many parents would react in various ways, there are potential health implications for youth and young adults depending upon HOW their families behave toward them once they confide in at least one parent about their sexual orientation.

The link below in HealthDay describes a study which demonstrates that if the family expresses a positive attitude toward the adolescent there is less risk of depression,  suicide and substance abuse in the early twenties, as well as improvement in genral health, well-being and self esteem.  http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=646940

Recent media attention to bullying in schools or other hateful behavior toward an LGTB adolescent has focused adults on identifying and preventing such behavior. Parents need to look also within the family environment to find a way to offer acceptance to their children, and seek outside assistance when necessary, especially when strong religious or personal beliefs are in conflict with a desire to provide love and acceptance of their child. You can read the original article from the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing here.

This is as much a health issue as paying attention to other determinants of future well-being, such as diet, exercise, school attendance, and is another topic parents may choose to discuss with the child's primary care provider. If the primary care provider is uncomfortable with the topic, expert advice may be sought from a mental health provider, religious leader, or school counselor.

Additional information on lesbian, gay and bisexual youth is available here

About Dr. Ackerman

Alice Ackerman, MD, MBA, FAAP, FCCM is the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Carilion Clinic and Professor and Founding Chair of Pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Dr. Ackerman is recognized nationally as an expert in pediatric critical care.

She has been at Carilion Clinic since June of 2007. Her primary goals are to enhance the health care of children in the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia, and is actively working to do this both as physician in chief of the children's hospital, as well as through involvement with many state-wide initiatives.

Close to home links

Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital
Carilion Clinic Pediatric Services
Children’s Miracle Network
Follow me on Twitter
Pediatric Residency Facebook Page
The AAP website for parents
Just the Vax
Moms Who Vax blog
Parents Who Protect
Roanoke Times Medical blog
Running a hospital blog


Via RSS  |  Via Email


Follow me