Living as an LGBTQ Adolescent and a Parent’s Child: Overlapping or Separate Experiences

Christopher J. Mehus, Ryan J. Watson, Marla E. Eisenberg, Heather L. Corliss, Carolyn M. Porta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


It is well known that parental and community-based support are each related to healthy development in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, but little research has explored the ways these contexts interact and overlap. Through go-along interviews (a method in which participants guide the interviewer around the community) with 66 youth in British Columbia, Massachusetts, and Minnesota, adolescents (aged 14-19 years) reported varying extent of overlap between their LGBTQ experiences and their parent–youth experiences; parents and youth each contributed to the extent of overlap. Youth who reported high overlap reported little need for resources outside their families but found resources easy to access if wanted. Youth who reported little overlap found it difficult to access resources. Findings suggest that in both research and practice, considering the extent to which youth feel they can express their authentic identity in multiple contexts may be more useful than simply evaluating parental acceptance or access to resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-200
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Family Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01HD078470. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Christopher J. Mehus is also supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under National Research Service Award in Primary Medical Care grant number T32HP22239 (Principal Investigator: Borowsky), Bureau of Health Workforce. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.


  • adolescents
  • family
  • parenting
  • parent–child relations
  • youth


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