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How parents engage with their LGB teen can have a tremendous impact on their adolescent’s current and future mental and physical health.
On the other hand, unsupportive parents who react negatively to learning that their daughter or son is LGB can make it harder for their teen to thrive.
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].
More Resources for Parents to Help Them Better Understand and Respond to the Needs of LGBTQ Adolescents More research is needed to better understand the associations between parenting and the health of LGB youth.
The following are research-based steps parents can take to support the health and well-being of their LGB teen: Talk and listen.
Historically, YRBS and other studies have gathered data on lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth but have not included questions about transgender and questioning/queer youth.
If bullying, violence, or depression is suspected, parents should take immediate action, working with school personnel and other adults in the community.
According to the 2015 YRBS, LGB students were 140% (12% v.
5%) more likely to not go to school at least one day during the 30 days prior to the survey because of safety concerns, compared with heterosexual students.
For youth to thrive in schools and communities, they need to feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe and supported.
A positive school climate has been associated with decreased depression, suicidal feelings, substance use, and unexcused school absences among LGB students.