Sunday, September 11, 2011

Social Support Improves Well-Being of Those Who Come Out

The level of support that people perceive in their surroundings when they come out as lesbian, gay, or bisexual is closely related to their mental health and overall well-being, according to a new study. That may mean that for some people coming out is less damaging than has been believed.

Researchers surveyed 161 people between the ages of 18 and 65 roughly evenly split between those who identified as gay, lesbian and bisexual. The participants anonymously answered questions about how out they were and the level of support they felt. The study found that students who had come out were less angry and depressed and had higher self-esteem, but only if they were in supportive environments. In controlling environments, coming out was not associated with any of these benefits. (Los Angeles Times, 6/21/11)

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