For youth to thrive in schools and communities, they need to feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe and supported.
Parents should develop common goals with their teen, including being healthy and doing well in school. Parents who make an effort to know their teen’s friends and know what their teen is doing can help their teen stay safe and feel cared about. Parents can access many organizations and online information resources to learn more about how they can support their LGB teen, other family members, and their teen’s friends.
Get more information from the CDC Fact Sheet: Parents’ Influence on the Health of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Teens [PDF – 254 KB].
While not a direct measure of school performance, absenteeism has been linked to low graduation rates, which can have lifelong consequences.
A complex combination of factors can impact youth health outcomes.
I’ve already expressed my argument for why in two posts: one on how critical it is to find the right life partner and how seriously we should take that quest, and another on why going to bars is a terrible life experience.
The first step in ending up with the right person is meeting the right person, and for something so important in our lives, we’ve had for doing it efficiently and intelligently.
Parental rejection has been linked to depression, use of drugs and alcohol, and risky sexual behavior among teens.
To be supportive, parents should talk openly and supportively with their teen about any problems or concerns.
Positive environments can help all youth achieve good grades and maintain good mental and physical health.
However, some LGB youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience negative health and life outcomes.
For example, research has shown that in schools with LGB support groups (such as gay-straight alliances), LGB students were less likely to experience threats of violence, miss school because they felt unsafe, or attempt suicide than those students in schools without LGB support groups.