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The Resilience of Gay and Lesbian Teenagers Facing Family Coping Challenges After Coming Out Involuntarily
Gay and lesbian teenagers,coming out involuntarily,family coping,resilience,
|Publication Year :||2020|
Previous studies have indicated that gay and lesbian teenagers often have various factors to consider regarding the subject of coming out. While those who decide to come out can choose the timing and coping strategies, it is difficult for those coming out involuntarily to develop such strategies. This results in them facing challenges presented by their families, such as denial. Since denial of coming out by the family can significantly affect the teenagers’ mental health development, it is critical to study the coming out experience and resilience of gay and lesbian teenagers. Therefore, this study aims to investigate factors associated with gay and lesbian teenagers’ reluctance to come out, the process of involuntary coming out, family coping, the pressure faced and the resilience shown after coming out involuntarily.
This study adopts the narrative research method; after purpose sampling, a total of 12 in-depth and semi-structured interviews were conducted individually. The results of the research indicate the factors associated with gay and lesbian teenagers’ reluctance to come out: sensing their parents’ unfriendly attitude and imagining the negative consequences; uncertainty if they will be accepted by their parents; and, on the positive side, viewing gay and lesbian as natural identities. The contexts of coming out involuntarily consist of informing reluctantly and being disclosed by others; coming out involuntarily is a dynamic process. Family members’ responses and coping after teenagers come out involuntarily include: parents’ shock, anger, disappointment and self-accusation; parents’ attempts to control the everyday life of their children; parents’ verbal threats and seeking religious intervention; long-term alienation / conflicts occurring in the parent-child relationship. Pressure felt by gay and lesbian teenagers include melancholia, self-deprecation and occurrence of suicide ideation; persistent anger leading to disputes/alienation with parents; sadness and self-blame due to worry about losing parents’ affection; doubts and guilt about their self-identity. Regarding resilience, this study summarizes four domains of resilience; the first is individual internal adjustment, including looking forward, positiveness, reducing negative feelings, self-acceptance and empathy; the second is individual external positive adaptation, including escaping or adjustment, focus changing, running away from a negative environment; the third is seeking support from the external environment, including support from school environment, gay and lesbian community, brothers / sisters and family members, and other formal systems; the fourth is transformation of adversity, reducing negative family response.
Based on the current research results, we suggest that enhancing the sensitivity of formal systems, providing treatment for families rejecting gay and lesbian children, applying resilience in counseling gay and lesbian teenagers, studying the attitudinal transformation process of parents, and focusing more on relevant research concerning the resilience of gays and lesbians.
|Appears in Collections:||社會工作學系|
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