Social Work Young and Adolescent Lesbians
Shelley L. Craig
  • LAST REVIEWED: 06 May 2015
  • LAST MODIFIED: 13 January 2014
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0137


Lesbian is frequently used to describe women who are romantically and sexually attracted to other women. Although the term represents a diversity of experiences and is not always embraced by young women with same-sex attractions, it can be used to describe a cultural identity. Lesbian-identified individuals often share common challenges emanating from their social environments, such as discrimination and stigma, and, as women, have physical and mental health concerns very different from those men. Because the lesbian identity emerged as a social construct during the 20th century, this article identifies relevant works and topics in adolescence and early adulthood from 1987 to the early 21st century, in a variety of settings, including home and school environments, and regarding a range of subjects, such as identity development and coming out, health and well-being, and dating and socialization. Despite barriers, such as recruitment and measurement, the quantity of research involving lesbians is gradually increasing, yet studies involving youth have generally merged young and adolescent lesbians with gay males and bisexuals to reach adequate sample size. Thus, throughout this article, information about young lesbians must be considered within the context of works that also discuss other sexual minority populations. The article offers an overview of diverse young and adolescent lesbians in key areas critical to research and practice with this population.


A growing number of online resources exist to enable young and adolescent lesbians to access information and resources, including the Trevor Project, the It Gets Better Project, Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender National Youth Talkline, Heartstrong, Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE).

Sexual Identity Development and Coming Out

Bedard and Marks 2010 highlights the coming out and identity development of young adolescent lesbians, and Maguen, et al. 2002 identifies developmental milestones of lesbian, bisexual, and gay youth, whereas Anderson 1993–1994 compares this population with heterosexuals. Anhalt and Morris 1998, Waldner-Haugrud and Magruder 1996 and Zera 1992 address identity development and adjustment issues. Qualitative research with lesbians is used to understand their perspectives on their own identity development; see Schneider 1996 and Degges-White and Myers 2005 (a study whose findings parallel Vivienne Cass’s coming out model). Payne 2010 examines the relationship between identity and sexual agency, and Zevy 2004 considers gender norms for adolescent lesbians.

  • Anderson, Dennis A. 1993–1994. Lesbian and gay adolescents: Social and developmental considerations. In Special issue: The gay teenager. High School Journal 77.1–2: 13–19.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores differences in social and emotional development experiences of gay and lesbian adolescents in comparison with those of heterosexual youth and looks at several models of identity formation. The majority of the information presented is based on the retrospective accounts of adults.

    Find this resource:

    • Anhalt, Karla, and Tracy L. Morris. 1998. Developmental and adjustment issues of gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents: A review of the empirical literature. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review 1.4: 215–230.

      DOI: 10.1023/A:1022660101392Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      This paper provides a review of the literature focusing on adjustment problems experienced by gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) adolescents. The paper also covers the developmental characteristics of GLB adolescents and further risk and protective factors associated with this population.

      Find this resource:

      • Bedard, Katherine K., and Amy K. Marks. 2010. Current psychological perspectives on adolescent lesbian identity development. Journal of Lesbian Studies 14.1: 16–25.

        DOI: 10.1086/599247Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        This article highlights the unique identity development process for lesbian adolescents, with an emphasis on school environment, relationships, and the role of femininity. The conceptualization of lesbian identity development through prominent psychological frameworks of sexual identity development is discussed.

        Find this resource:

        • Degges-White, Suzanne E., and Jane E. Myers. 2005. The adolescent lesbian identity formation model: Implications for counseling. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development 44.2: 185–197.

          DOI: 10.1002/j.2164-490X.2005.tb00030.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          This study concentrates on the sexual identity formation model. In interviewing thirteen self-identified lesbians, the authors found that Cass’s sexual identity formation model is comparable to James E. Marcia’s identity development model. The authors chart potential risks and interventions at each stage of the model.

          Find this resource:

          • Maguen, Shira, Frank J. Floyd, Roger Bakeman, and Lisa Armistead. 2002. Developmental milestones and disclosure of sexual orientation among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths. Applied Developmental Psychology 23.2: 219–233.

            DOI: 10.1016/S0193-3973(02)00105-3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            Maguen and colleagues offer an overview of the coming out experiences of GLB youth. The average age for “first awareness of same-sex attraction” was eleven years, “first same-sex sexual contact” was sixteen years, and “first disclosure of. . . sexual identity” was seventeen years (p. 225). The order of events differed for the various subgroups, suggesting individualized coming out trajectories.

            Find this resource:

            • Payne, Elizabethe. 2010. Sluts: Heteronormative policing in the stories of lesbian youth. Educational Studies 46.3: 317–336.

              DOI: 10.1080/00131941003614911Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              This article chronicles the life stories of white southern adolescent lesbians and their identification with hegemonic constructs. Through examination of such constructs as “slut” and “good girl,” social controls and the devaluation of women’s sexual agency are shown.

              Find this resource:

              • Savin-Williams, R. C. 1990. Gay and lesbian youth: Expressions of identity. Washington, DC: Hemisphere.

                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                A classic book investigating issues of lesbian and gay youth and the development of self-esteem through a review of relevant theory related to coming out experiences. This work also deals with similarities and differences between young lesbians and gay men.

                Find this resource:

                • Schneider, Margaret. 1996. Sappho was a right-on adolescent: Growing up lesbian. Journal of Lesbian Studies 1.1: 69–85.

                  DOI: 10.1300/J155v01n01_06Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  The main objective of this paper is to depict the young lesbian experience. The paper attempts to capture a young lesbian population’s experience by illuminating the interrelation between the coming out process and the adolescents’ developmental milestones.

                  Find this resource:

                  • Waldner-Haugrud, Lisa, and Brian Magruder. 1996. Homosexual identity expression among lesbian and gay adolescents: An analysis of perceived structural association. Youth and Society 27.3: 313–333.

                    DOI: 10.1177/0044118X96027003003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    This study found that, compared with gay youth, whose identity expression is influenced by political beliefs, socioeconomic status, heterosexual friends, and lack of gender conformity, the identity expression of lesbian adolescents is strongly affected by their school engagement and religious identity.

                    Find this resource:

                    • Zera, Dennis A. 1992. Coming of age in a heterosexist world: The development of gay and lesbian adolescents. Adolescence 27.108: 849–854.

                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      This paper provides a review of the literature on lesbian and gay adolescents’ experiences. The paper outlines the gaps in the research and describes commonalities between male and female homosexual development. The author tresses the need for positive and visible role models and proposes healthy ways of resolving difficult identity issues.

                      Find this resource:

                      • Zevy, Lee. 2004. Lesbian tomboys and “evolutionary butch.” Journal of Lesbian Studies 8.1–2: 143–158.

                        DOI: 10.1300/J155v08n01_09Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        This study analyzes lesbian tomboy development within a psychosexual experiential field, on a continuum from childhood gender dissonance to “evolutionary butch” in adulthood. In overcoming some of the challenges associated with this unique experience, adolescents may seek therapy, thus, underscoring counselor awareness of their course of development.

                        Find this resource:

                        Socialization and Dating

                        These selected articles highlight socialization expectations. Cates 1987 is an early article on the subject. Hetrick and Martin 1987 addresses negative social pressures and the importance of role models. Elze 2002 considers adolescent lesbian dating patterns, and Freedner, et al. 2002 attends to risks.

                        • Cates, Jim A. 1987. Adolescent sexuality: Gay and lesbian issues. Child Welfare 66.4: 353–364.

                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          In this early article the intrapsychic and social aspects of a group of gay and lesbian adolescents are explored, and participants are described as displaying concern over gay and lesbian issues. Social, cultural, and emotional expectations of this cultural identity are discussed.

                          Find this resource:

                          • Elze, Diane E. 2002. Against all odds. Journal of Lesbian Studies 6.1: 17–29.

                            DOI: 10.1300/J155v06n01_03Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            This paper looks at the dating experiences of lesbian and bisexual adolescents. Some of the issues considered are dating stress, characteristics of the adolescents’ dating relationships, abuse, and psychosocial factors. The findings suggest that, despite the various barriers, adolescent lesbian and bisexual women actively date.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Freedner, Naomi, Lorraine H. Freed, Y. Wendy Yang, and S. Bryn Austin. 2002. Dating violence among gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents: Results from a community survey. Journal of Adolescent Health 31.6: 469–474.

                              DOI: 10.1016/S1054-139X(02)00407-XSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              This study examines the prevalence of violence in gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) and heterosexual adolescent dating relationships. The data from self-report surveys indicate that all sexual orientation groups experience violence, showing negligible statistical significant differences. The paper stresses the need for violence outreach targeted GLB youth.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Hetrick, Emery S., and Damien A. Martin. 1987. Developmental issues and their resolution for gay and lesbian adolescents. Journal of Homosexuality 14.12: 24–43.

                                DOI: 10.1300/J082v14n01_03Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                This hallmark paper studies the negative effects of societal pressure on the development of gay and lesbian adolescents. Risks include isolation, academic issues, homelessness, emotional stress, and abuse. The paper also investigates the positive effects a supportive environment with healthy peers and role models can have on these youth.

                                Find this resource:

                                Risk Factors Related to Psychosocial and Emotional Well-Being

                                The citations in this section look at the risk factors related to the well-being of adolescent lesbians. Elze 2002, Thompson and Johnston 2004, and Whitbeck 2004 outline several key risk factors to physical and mental health. In particular, Blake, et al. 2001 and Pederson 1994 address challenges to sexual health, whereas suicidality is highlighted in Kulkin, et al 2000 and Silenzio, et al. 2009.

                                • Blake, Susan M., Rebecca Ledsky, Thomas Lehman, Carol Goodenow, Richard Sawyer, and Tim Hack. 2001. Preventing sexual risk behaviors among gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents: The benefits of gay-sensitive HIV instruction in schools. American Journal of Public Health 91.6: 940–946.

                                  DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.91.6.940Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  This study compares the sexual risk behavior of gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) adolescents with that of their heterosexual counterparts. The results suggest that GLB adolescents engage in more risk behaviors than do heterosexual youth. These behaviors include substance use, high-risk sexual behavior, and both suicidal thought and attempts.

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Elze, Diane E. 2002. Risk factors for internalizing and externalizing problems among gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents. Social Work Research 26.2: 89–100.

                                    DOI: 10.1093/swr/26.2.89Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    This study focuses on risk factors associated with internalizing and externalizing struggles among GLB adolescents in New England. The findings suggest a crucial need for careful assessment of the concerns expressed by GLB adolescents and encourages a holistic approach to evaluating their psychosocial functioning.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    • Kulkin, Heidi S., Elizabeth A. Chauvin, and Grethchen A. Percle. 2000. Suicide among gay and lesbian adolescents and young adults. Journal of Homosexuality 40.1: 1–29.

                                      DOI: 10.1300/J082v40n01_01Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      The aim of this paper is to serve as a guide (during assessment) for social work practitioners who work with adolescents or young adults who are questioning their sexuality. The paper discusses theoretical perspectives on homosexual identity development and Émile Dukheim’s suicide theory and highlights risk factors.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Pederson, William B. 1994. HIV risk in gay and lesbian adolescents. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services 1.3–4: 131–147.

                                        DOI: 10.1300/J041v01n03_06Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        Pederson offers a framework to aid in understanding the issues and challenges of HIV infection and its relation to gay and lesbian youth. He provides a through consideration of the political, economic, social, and policy aspects that contribute to the problems of HIV.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Silenzio, Vincent M. B., Paul R. Duberstein, Wan Tang, Naiji Lu, Xin Tu, and Christopher M. Homan. 2009. Connecting the invisible dots: Reaching lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents and young adults at risk for suicide through online social networks. Social Science and Medicine 69.3: 469–474.

                                          DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.05.029Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          This study explores the use of social networks for suicide prevention research targeting GLB youth. Automated data collection was used to map social connections between GLB youth in online social networks, and simulations were conducted of diffusion of prevention material. The authors found that some individuals could be more important in diffusion.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          • Thompson, Sanna J., and Lon Johnston. 2004. Risk factors of gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents. Journal of Human Behaviour in the Social Environment 8.2–3: 111–128.

                                            DOI: 10.1300/J137v08n02_07Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            Examines the risk and protective factors experienced by GLB youth. The paper presents a review of the literature on family and school issues, suicide, substance use, and HIV/AIDS. The review also includes guidelines to help practitioners in delivering effective services to this population.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            • Whitbeck, Les. 2004. Mental disorder, subsistence strategies, and victimization among gay, lesbian, and bisexual homeless and runway adolescents. Journal of Sex Research 41.4: 329–342.

                                              DOI: 10.1080/00224490409552240Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              This study compares the lifetime prevalence of mental disorders, subsistence strategies, and street victimization of heterosexual and GLB homeless youth. GLB adolescents are more likely to have experienced abuse, engage in risky subsistence strategies, and meet the criteria for a mental disorder.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              Substance Use

                                              The citations in this section outline the issues related to the prevalence of substance use among adolescent lesbians as well as teenage members of lesbian families and its affect on physical and mental health. Jordan 2000 discusses substance abuse issues among sexual minority youth, whereas Goldberg, et al. 2011 considers use of substances by the offspring of lesbians, and Orenstein 2001 looks at the behavior of lesbian high school students. The contribution of gay-related discrimination is explored in Marshal, et al. 2013, and lack of parental acceptance is addressed in Padilla, et al. 2010. Caldwall, et al. 1998 examines use of leisure time, in particular its relation to increased drinking.

                                              • Caldwall, Linda L., Beth D. Kivel, Edward A. Smith, and David Hayes. 1998. The leisure context of adolescents who are lesbian, gay male, bisexual and questioning their sexual identities: An exploratory study. Journal of Leisure Research 30.3: 341–355.

                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                This study examines the leisure behavior of gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) and questioning youth. The results demonstrate a difference in how free time is experienced between gay males and lesbians. When compared with their peers, both gay and lesbian adolescents share higher levels of binge drinking behavior.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                • Goldberg, Naomi G., Henny M. W. Bos, and Nanette K. Gartrell. 2011. Substance use by adolescents of the USA National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study. Journal of Health Psychology 16.8: 1231–1240.

                                                  DOI: 10.1177/1359105311403522Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  This longitudinal study deals with the correlation between substance use and the experience of homophobic discrimination against adolescents of all sexual orientations with lesbian parents. The findings suggest that these adolescents are more likely to report occasional use of substances, but not heavy use.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  • Jordan, Karen M. 2000. Substance abuse among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning adolescents. School Psychology Review 29.2: 201–206.

                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    This article discusses substance abuse issues among sexual minority youth. The article attends to the origins of substance abuse, such as isolation, marginalization, depression, and chronic stress; outlines preventative efforts and effective intervention strategies; and encourages the implementation of school-based support groups.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    • Marshal, Michael P., Chad M. Burton, Deena J. Chisolm, Gina S. Sucato, and Mark S. Friedman. 2013. Cross-sectional evidence for a stress-negative affect pathway to substance use among sexual minority girls. Clinical and Translational Science 321–322.

                                                      DOI: 10.1111/cts.12052Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      This study of sexual minority girls (SMGs) explores gay-related victimization and depression as mediators of substance use among SMGs. Significant mediated pathways related to sexual minority status are found for cigarette, alcohol, and heavy alcohol use.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Orenstein, Alan. 2001. Substance use among gay and lesbian adolescents. Journal of Homosexuality 41.2: 1–15.

                                                        DOI: 10.1300/J082v41n02_01Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        This study looks at the correlation between substance use and homosexual preference. Through the administration of surveys to Massachusetts high school students, the author found an elevated rate of substance abuse among gay and lesbian students. The survey includes multiple items for identifying the sexual identity of the student participants.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        • Padilla, Yolanda C., Catherine Crisp, and Donna L. Rew. 2010. Parental acceptance and illegal drug use among gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents: Results from a national survey. Social Work 55.3: 265–275.

                                                          DOI: 10.1093/sw/55.3.265Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          This study investigates the effects family support and engagement with a queer community have on buffering the negative effects of substance use among GLB youth. The findings suggest that family support serves as a critical protective factor; involvement in a queer youth group did not show an effect.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          Family Acceptance and Environment

                                                          The works listed in section describe a variety of family concerns regarding lesbian adolescents, including coming out (Mallon 2000, Waldner and Magrader 1999) and the role of parental grief (Borhek 1988). Bregman, et al. 2013 discusses the importance of family acceptance on youth development, Darby-Mullins and Murdock 2007 addresses self-acceptance, and Ryan, et al. 2009 looks at youth health.

                                                          • Borhek, Mary V. 1988. Helping gay and lesbian adolescents and their families: A mother’s perspective. Journal of Adolescent Health Care 9.2: 123–128.

                                                            DOI: 10.1016/0197-0070(88)90058-7Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            Borhek explores the factors often complicating the coming out process, such as ineffective communication and unresolved grief, and provides guidelines for fostering a positive family adjustment.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            • Bregman, Hallie R., Neena M. Malik, Matthew J. L. Page, Emily Makynen, and Kristin M. Lindahl. 2013. Identity profiles in lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth: The role of family influences. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 42.3: 417–430.

                                                              DOI: 10.1007/s10964-012-9798-zSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              This study examines gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) identity and its links with parental support and rejection. GLB adolescents (31 percent lesbian, 21 percent bisexual) participated. The results demonstrate that youth experience both affirmed and struggling identities, indicating that sexuality specific social support from families and parental rejection are salient links to GLB identity.

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Darby-Mullins, Pamela, and Tamera B. Murdock. 2007. The influence of family environment factors on self-acceptance and emotional adjustment among gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents. Journal of GLBT Family Studies 3.1: 75–91.

                                                                DOI: 10.1300/J461v03n01_04Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                This study focuses on the relationship between family environment and the psychological adjustment of sexual minority adolescents. Examination of family functioning and parental views about lesbian and gay identity as predictors of self-acceptance and emotional adjustment reveals a significant relationship.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                • Mallon, Gerald. P. 2000. Gay and lesbian adolescents and their families. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services 10.2: 68–88.

                                                                  DOI: 10.1300/J041v10n02_04Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  An analysis of gay and lesbian adolescents and their family systems within the dominant heterosexual society. Issues considered include sensing differentness and its effects, the means by which adolescents adapt to their identity, and coming out.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • Ryan, Caitlin, David Heubner, Rafael M. Diaz, and Jorge Sanchez. 2009. Family rejection as a predictor of negative health outcomes in white and Latino lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults. Pediatrics 123.1: 346–352.

                                                                    DOI: 10.1542/peds.2007-3524Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    The author concentrates on the relationship between health problems in young adulthood and experiencing family rejection to sexual orientation in adolescence.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    • Waldner, Lisa K., and Brian Magrader. 1999. Coming out to parents. Journal of Homosexuality 37.2: 83–100.

                                                                      DOI: 10.1300/J082v37n02_05Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Clinical research of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) adolescents examining factors influencing coming out to parents, including perceptions of family relations, identity expression, and pro-lesbian/-gay resources. The findings indicate that weak family relations detract from coming out indirectly. Those adolescents perceiving supportive resources and expressing their lesbian/gay identity are more likely to come out.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      Parent Needs when Youth Come Out

                                                                      This section focuses on social work approaches to working with parents when their children come out. Saltzburg 2009 considers the role of social support, Saltzburg 2004 addresses how parents make meaning, and Saltzburg 2007 evaluates the use of narrative therapy. LaSala 2010 provides strategies for enabling healthy family transition to youth coming out.

                                                                      • LaSala, Michael C. 2010. Coming out, coming home: Helping families adjust to a gay or lesbian child. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        This book describes a qualitative study of sixty-five gay and lesbian children and their parents and outlines interventions to enable families dealing with these issues. The author posits that coming out can have positive outcomes, including strengthening family relationships, and provides practice strategies to support healthy family adjustment.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Saltzburg, Susan. 2004. Learning that an adolescent child is gay or lesbian: The parent experience. Social Work 49.1: 109–118.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1093/sw/49.1.109Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          This study explores the parent’s experience following his or her adolescent’s disclosure of sexual orientation as either gay or lesbian. The study examines how the parents ascribe meaning to the experience, effects on the parent–child relationship, and interventions for supporting a healthy parent adjustment.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Saltzburg, Susan. 2007. Narrative therapy pathways for re-authoring with parents of adolescents coming-out as lesbian, gay, and bisexual. Contemporary Family Therapy 29.1: 57–69.

                                                                            DOI: 10.1007/s10591-007-9035-1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            Discusses the use of narrative therapy with parents as they face the challenges of a daughter’s or son’s coming out. The article concentrates on therapeutic interventions, the role of power and privilege, and how the narrative therapy approach can be further applied.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            • Saltzburg, Susan. 2009. Parents’ experience of feeling socially supported as adolescents come out as lesbian and gay: A phenomenological study. Journal of Family Social Work 12.4: 340–358.

                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/10522150903261932Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              This phenomenological study looks at eight parents’ experience of their adolescent’s coming out. These experiences are categorized into thematic structures with two dimensions; either they prompt social isolation or they create social reconnection.

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              Children of Lesbian Mothers

                                                                              This fairly extensive section covers the development and attachment issues of adolescents, including lesbian adolescents who are the children of lesbians. These works do not address whether the children were adopted or conceived via alternative insemination or children from a previous, heterosexual relationship. Gartrell and Bos 2010 discusses adolescent psychological adjustment; Gartrell, et al. 2012 examines academic development; and van Gelderen, et al. 2009 and van Gelderen, et al. 2012 explore stigmatization from peers. Gershon, et al 1999 deals with the ways in which adolescents cope, whereas their perspectives on marriage equality after living in lesbian households are addressed in Goldberg and Kuvalanka 2012; the different forms of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) families are considered in Telingator and Patterson 2008; and the need for male role models is emphasized in Bos, et al. 2012. Krestan 1987 describes the adjustment experiences of lesbian daughters of lesbian mothers. Scherrer 2010 outlines the responses of grandparents to the disclosure of their grandchildren’s sexual orientation.

                                                                              • Bos, Henny, Naomi Goldberg, Loes van Gelderen, and Nanette Gartrell. 2012. Adolescents of the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Male role models, gender role traits, and psychological adjustment. Gender and Society 26.4: 603–638.

                                                                                DOI: 10.1177/0891243212445465Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                This study concentrates on the effects of male role models on the psychological adjustment of adolescents of lesbian mothers. The findings suggest that the absence of male role models did not affect the adolescents’ psychological adjustment.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                • Gartrell, Nanette, and Henny Bos. 2010. US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological adjustment of 17-year-old adolescents. Pediatrics 126.1: 28–36.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-3153Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  This prospective study looks at the psychological adjustment of adolescents who are reared by lesbian mothers. The results indicate that, when compared with their age-matched counterparts, these adolescents show a significantly higher social and academic standing as well as significantly fewer social problems and less aggression and externalized problem behavior.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • Gartrell, Nanete, Henny M. W. Bos, Heidi Peyser, Amalia Deck, and Carla Rodas. 2012. Adolescents with lesbian mothers describe their own lives. Journal of Homosexuality 59.9: 1211–1229.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2012.720499Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    This longitudinal study examines the everyday life experiences of adolescents reared by lesbian mothers. Self-reports were collected, and the results demonstrate that academically successful adolescents had supportive school environments and solid social networks and family bonds.

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    • Gershon, Tamar D., Jeanne M. Tschann, and John M. Jemerin. 1999. Stigmatization, self-esteem, and coping among the adolescent children of lesbian mothers: Some issues and some questions. Journal of Adolescent Health 24.6: 437–445.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.1016/S1054-139X(98)00154-2Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      This study focuses on the perception of stigma held by adolescents with lesbian mothers, along with coping, disclosure, and self-esteem. The findings show that lower self-esteem is associated with more perceived stigma and that this relationship is moderated by coping skills. Suggestions for intervention and prevention of stigmatization are given.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      • Goldberg, Abbie, and Katherine A. Kuvalanka. 2012. Marriage (in)equality: The perspective of adolescents and emerging adults with lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents. Journal of Marriage and Family 74.1: 34–52.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2011.00876.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        This study sought to address the perceptions of adolescents of same-sex parents with respect to marriage (in)equality. The authors found that more than one-third of the participants expressed vehement support for marriage equality, whereas one-quarter shared critical perspectives of marriage.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        • Krestan, J. 1987. Lesbian daughters and lesbian mothers: The crisis of disclosure from a family systems perspective. Journal of Psychotherapy and the Family 3.4: 113–130.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.1300/J287v03n04_08Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          This study used a Bowen family systems framework to discuss coaching young lesbians to come out to their lesbian mothers. Case examples and practical strategies.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • Scherrer, Kristen. 2010. The intergenerational family relationships of grandparents and GLBQ grandchildren. Journal of GLBT Family Studies 6.3: 229–264.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/1550428X.2010.490898Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            This study reviews existing research on the relationships of grandparents with their gay, lesban, bisexual, and questioning (GLBQ) grandchildren. Issues such as disclosure, social pressures and expectations, the role of parents, and changing relationships are described, and the importance of grandparents is highlighted.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            • Telingator, Cynthia J., and Charlotte Patterson. 2008. Children and adolescents of lesbian and gay parents. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 47.12: 1364–1368.

                                                                                              DOI: 10.1097/CHI.0b013e31818960bcSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Considers the different forms of gay and lesbian families and provides suggestions for clinical work with adolescents with gay and lesbian parents, based on the practice of an adolescent psychiatrist with these families over different developmental stages and in various settings.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • van Gelderen, Loes, Nanette Gartrell, Henny Bos, and Jo Hermanns. 2009. Stigmatization and resilience in adolescent children of lesbian mothers. Journal of GLBT Family Studies 5.3: 268–279.

                                                                                                DOI: 10.1080/15504280903035761Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                The author covers the history and culture of lesbian families, the psychosocial development of children in lesbian families, and the negative effects of homophobia. He proposes protecting children from negative effects by stressing personal, family, and community resources.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                • van Gelderen, Loes, Nanette Gartrell, Henny M. W. Bos, Floor B. van Rooij, and Jo M. A. Hermanns. 2012. Stigmatization associated with growing up in a lesbian-parented family: What do adolescents experience and how do they deal with it? Children and Youth Services Review 34.5: 999–1006.

                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.01.048Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  This qualitative study investigates the experience of adolescents of lesbian mothers and determine whether these youth were subjected to homophobic stigmatization. The findings indicate that more than half of the participants underwent homophobic stigmatization and that they were more likely to use adaptive strategies than maladaptive coping mechanisms.

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  Child Welfare

                                                                                                  The following works consider the experiences of adolescent lesbians in the child welfare system, especially foster care (Gallegos, et al. 2011), and include recommendations for better service delivery for youth in care (Mallon 1992, Mallon 1997) and the integration of mentoring programs (Pryde and Mech 1995).

                                                                                                  • Gallegos, A., C. R. White, C. Ryan, K. O’Brien, P. J. Pecora, and P. Thomas. 2011. Exploring the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning adolescents in foster care. Journal of Family Social Work 14.3: 226–236.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/10522158.2011.571547Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Presents the findings of a qualitative study on the experience of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth in foster care. Through interviews with 188 adolescents receiving foster care services, the experiences and perceptions of these youth are explored.

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    • Mallon, Gerald P. 1992. Gay and no place to go: Assessing the needs of gay and lesbian adolescents in out-of-home care settings. Child Welfare 71.6: 547–556.

                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      In light of the struggles faced by some gay and lesbian adolescents in out-of-home settings, this paper discusses the factors that can play a role in improving the unique experience of this population.

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      • Mallon, Gerald P. 1997. Toward a competent child welfare service delivery system for gay and lesbian adolescents and their families. Journal of Multicultural Social Work 5.3–4: 177–194.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1300/J285v05n03_05Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        This paper focuses on addressing the unrecognized impact of stigma by child welfare professionals on families of gay and lesbian adolescents. The author asserts that in order to establish affirming child welfare service, it is crucial to acknowledge and address the family struggle as a result of societal stigma and marginalization.

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        • Pryde, Julie A., and Edmund V. Mech. 1995. Empowering lesbian and gay foster adolescents through mentoring relationships. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services 2.2: 59–72.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1300/J041v02n02_04Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          This article examines a mentoring model for lesbian and gay adolescents in foster care based on data collected from a national study that outlines the key elements of an effective mentoring program. This model attends to issues of isolation, stigma, and lack of positive role models.

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          Race and Ethnicity

                                                                                                          The articles in this section highlight how racial and ethnic minority adolescent lesbians negotiate aspects of their identity development in the context of cultural experiences. Chung and Katayama 1998 considers young lesbian Asian Americans in New York, Follins 2011 examines black lesbians in New York, and Robinson 2010 looks at black lesbians in Detroit. LaSala and Frierson 2012 profiles African American youth and their families, whereas Potoczniak, et al. 2009 highlights a diverse sample.

                                                                                                          • Chung, Barry Y., and Motoni Katayama. 1998. Ethnic and sexual identity development of Asian American lesbian and gay adolescents. Professional School Counseling 1.3: 21–25.

                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            This paper covers the underrepresented issue of intersectionality of ethnicity and sexual identity development, specifically among Asian American lesbian and gay adolescents. The paper also highlights the implications of these intersecting issues for counseling.

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                            • Follins, Lourdes D. 2011. Identity development of young black lesbians in New York City: An exploratory study. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health 15.4: 368–381.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/19359705.2011.568899Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              This exploratory study examines the identity development of ten young black lesbians. Black lesbian adolescents, as members of multiple oppressed groups, face the complex task of identity formulation and an increased risk of mental health concerns. The young women are able to integrate and manage multiple identities successfully.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              • LaSala, M. C., and D. Frierson. 2012. African American gay youth and their families: Redefining masculinity, coping with racism and homophobia. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Family Studies 8:428–445.

                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                This qualitative study of young African American gay men and their parents describes the challenges that standards of “exaggerated masculinity” and intersecting stigma present to youth. Although focused on a male sample, general recommendations are given for families on dealing with homophobia and racism.

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                • Potoczniak, Daniel, Margaret Crosbie-Burnett, and Nikki Saltzburg. 2009. Experiences regarding coming out to parents among African American, Hispanic, and white gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning adolescents. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services 21.2–3: 189–205.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/10538720902772063Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  The authors look at the coming out experience of a racially and ethnically diverse group of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) adolescents. Mental health guidelines for both clinicians and social service workers are included.

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  • Robinson, Amorie. 2010. Living for the city: Voices of black lesbian youth in Detroit. Journal of Lesbian Studies 14.1: 61–70.

                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/10894160903058899Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    Robinson considers the struggles of black lesbians as they negotiate multiple identities in the absence of supportive role models, concentrating on psychosocial, emotional, and sociocultural aspects of this struggle and offering recommendations for health-care providers working with black lesbian adolescents and their families.

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    Stigma, Resilience, and Coping

                                                                                                                    This varied section covers adolescent lesbian experiences with stigma, including discrimination (Saewyc, et al. 2006; Russell, et al. 2011; Jackson and Sullivan 1994), internalized sexual stigma (Baiocco, et al. 2012), and the characteristics of adolescents who express homophobia (Baker and Fishbein 1998). Lock and Steiner 1999 highlights specific coping strategies, and Cohn and Hastings 2010 deals with the resilience of a particular subgroups of adolescent lesbians, rural youth. Walls, et al 2008 discusses the importance of community-based organizations and gay–straight alliances for suicidal youth.

                                                                                                                    • Baiocco, Roberto, Fiorenzo Laghi, Lleana Di Pomponio, and Concetta Simona Nigito. 2012. Self-disclosure to the best friend: Friendship quality and internalized sexual stigma in Italian lesbian and gay adolescents. Journal of Adolescence 35.2: 381–387.

                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.08.002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      This study examines gender differences in friendship patterns in a sample of Italian gay and lesbian adolescents. The study also focuses issues of self-disclosure and internalized sexual stigma. The findings indicate that gay and lesbian adolescents with cross-orientation best friends show a lower level of internalized sexual stigma.

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      • Baker, Janet G., and Harold D. Fishbein. 1998. The development of prejudice towards gays and lesbians by adolescents. Journal of Homosexuality 36.1: 89–100.

                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1300/J082v36n01_06Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        This paper explores the development of prejudice among white suburban adolescents. The study found males to be more prejudiced than females and more toward gay males than lesbians. Prejudice against males and females increases for males and decreases for females from grades nine to eleven.

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        • Cohn, Tracy J., and Sarah L. Hastings. 2010. Resilience among rural lesbian youth. Journal of Lesbian Studies 14.1: 71–79.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1080/10894160903060325Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          The authors describe the experience of lesbian adolescents in rural areas, stressing the factors that enhance coping with the barriers that exist in a heteronormative setting as well as tools for enhancing resilience.

                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          • Jackson, Darryl, and Richard Sullivan. 1994. Developmental implications of homophobia for lesbian and gay adolescents: Issues in policy and practice. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services 1.3–4: 93–109.

                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1300/J041v01n03_04Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            This article provides a critical analysis of the developmental struggles experienced by gay and lesbian adolescents and argues that limited avenues of help are a result of institutionalized homophobia. The article strongly emphasizes that advocacy and deliberate efforts by the helping professionals must be used to eradicate these barriers.

                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            • Lock, James, and Hans Steiner. 1999. Relationships between sexual orientation and coping styles of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents from a community high school. Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association 3.3: 77–82.

                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1023/A:1022235910749Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              This comparative study concentrates on the coping styles adolescents and found that sexual orientation has a significant effect. Both approach and avoidant coping mechanisms are exhibited at greater rates by gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) students, when compared with their heterosexual counterparts.

                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              • Russell, Stephen T., Caitlin Ryan, Russell B. Toomey, Rafael M. Diaz, and Jorge Sanchez. 2011. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adolescent school victimization: Implications for young adult health and adjustment. Journal of School Health 81.5: 223–230.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00583.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                Looks at the association between school victimization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth and young adult psychosocial health and risk behavior.

                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                • Saewyc, Elizabeth M., Carol L. Skay, Sandra L. Pettingell, et al. 2006. Hazards of stigma: The sexual and physical abuse of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents in the United States and Canada. Child Welfare 85.2: 195–213.

                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  This study compares the self-reported accounts of sexual and physical abuse based on sexual orientation and gender of GLB and heterosexual adolescents. The findings suggest that sexual minority adolescents are significantly more likely to report sexual and physical abuse.

                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                  • Walls, N. Eugene, Stacey Freedenthal, and Hope Wisneski. 2008. Suicidal ideation and attempts among sexual minority youths receiving social services. Social Work 53.1: 21–29.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/sw/53.1.21Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    This study surveyed youth who received services from community social services agencies and found that issues such as hopelessness, substance use, homelessness, and school bullying contributed to feelings of suicidality. Rates of suicide ideation did not differ by race or ethnicity, and gay–straight alliances served a protective function.

                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                    School Environment

                                                                                                                                    The works listed here describe risks for adolescent lesbians in school settings as well as ways of meeting their identified needs through the delivery of school-based services. The relationship between discrimination and school is considered in Craig and Smith 2011, and health outcomes are addressed in Ryan, et al. 2011. Illingworth and Murphy 2004, Tharinger and Wells 2000, and Taylor 2000 examine the responsibilities of school providers. Wainright, et al. 2004 discusses the importance of family relationships on school adjustment. Issues of school safety are assessed in Russell, et al. 2008, and treatment by peers is stressed in Horn and Nucci 2003.

                                                                                                                                    • Craig, Shelley L., and Mark Smith. 2011. The impact of perceived discrimination and social support on the school performance of multiethnic sexual minority youth. Youth and Society.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1177/0044118X11424915Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      This study looks at school performance and perceived discrimination against multiethnic sexual minority youth, The findings indicate that increased family support is associated with better school performance and that neither peer nor school support has similar impact. In addition, levels of support do not significantly moderate the effect of perceived discrimination.

                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                      • Horn, Stacey S., and Larry Nucci. 2003. The multidimensionality of adolescents’ beliefs about and attitudes toward gay and lesbian peers in school. Excellence in Education 36.2: 136–147.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/10665680303507Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        Horn and Nucci explore adolescent perception of the treatment of gay and lesbian adolescents in their school and offer suggestions on the creation of a safe environment for gay and lesbian adolescents.

                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                        • Illingworth, Patricia, and Timothy Murphy. 2004. In our best interest: Meeting moral duties to lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescent students. Journal of Social Philosophy 35.2: 198–210.

                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9833.2004.00225.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          Highlights the lack of well-established policies and practices that aim at aiding adolescents with their emerging sexual gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) identities. The authors demonstrate that this is a moral issue and that accessibility to social capital and trust is essential for a just society.

                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                          • Russell, Stephen T., Jenifer K. McGuire, Sun-A Lee, Jacqueline C. Larriva, and Carolyn Laub. 2008. Adolescent perceptions of school safety for students with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents. Journal of LGBT Youth 5.4: 11–27.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/19361650802222880Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            This study deals with the level of school safety for students with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) parents. The data from a survey of 2,302 students in California suggest that self-identified GLBT students perceived school as less safe for students with GLBT parents, when compared with heterosexual students.

                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                            • Ryan, Caitlin, Russell B. Toomey, Rafael M. Diaz, and Jorge Sanchez. 2011. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescent school victimization: Implications for young adult health and adjustment. Journal of School Health 81.5: 223–230.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00583.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              This article addresses the effects of bullying on gay and lesbian adolescents. The article also focuses on the physical and mental health implications of negative references to being gay and lesbian. Among other effects, bullying is shown to be linked to risk for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                              • Taylor, Howard E. 2000. Meeting the needs of lesbian and gay young adolescents. Clearing House 73.4: 221–224.

                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1080/00098650009600956Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                This paper argues that middle schools lack the responsiveness needed to address the needs of gay and lesbian students. Educators are challenged to develop more awareness and an overview of developmental issues during this school phase is presented.

                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                • Tharinger, Deborah, and Greg Wells. 2000. An attachment perspective on the developmental challenges of gay and lesbian adolescents: The need for continuity of caregiving from family and schools. School Psychology Review 29.2: 158–172.

                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  This article reviews the developmental trajectories of adolescence and the central risk and protective factors in negotiating lesbian and gay orientation. Attachment theory serves as the theoretical base for understanding the impact that rejection of relationship connections can have on the development of gay and lesbian adolescents.

                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                  • Wainright, Jennifer L., Stephen T. Russell, and Charlotte J. Patterson. 2004. Psychological adjustment, school outcomes, and romantic relationships of adolescents with same-sex parents. Child Development 75.6: 1886–1898.

                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00823.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    This study compares adolescent school adjustment, relationships, and behaviors of adolescents parented by same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Differences were not found by family type; rather, adolescents with close relationships with their parents had better adjustment in school environments.

                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                    Social Work Practice

                                                                                                                                                    The citations in this section range from early works to more current descriptions of social work and psychosocial practice with adolescent lesbians. Strategies for working with this population in group and individual practice settings are provided. Clinical implications of vulnerabilities related to gender nonconformity are detailed in Adelson 2012 and to identity development in Morrow 2004. Similarly, Cooley 1998 and Coleman and Remadfedi 1989 look at ways of intervening to minimize oppression. Browning 1987 attends to therapeutic concerns for young lesbians. A model for strengths-based intervention in community is explicated in Craig, et al. 2012; strategies to integrate into general mental health practice are considered in Dempsey 1994; and similar strategies for groups are given in Peters 1997.

                                                                                                                                                    • Adelson, Stewart L. 2012. Practice parameter on gay, lesbian, or bisexual sexual orientation, gender nonconformity, and gender discordance in children and adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 51.9: 957–974.

                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2012.07.004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      This paper presents a review of the unique challenges of the development experience of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and gender nonconforming adolescents. The paper covers the mental health vulnerabilities they experience, owing to societal stigma, and stresses the importance of the role of mental health professionals.

                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                      • Browning, C. 1987. Therapeutic issues and intervention strategies with young adult lesbian clients: A developmental approach. Journal of Homosexuality 14.1–2: 45–52.

                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1300/J082v14n01_04Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        This paper identifies key therapeutic concerns that may emerge during counseling with young lesbian clients. In particular, relationships with parents, building friend networks, planning for the future, and dating are important issues to address in the context of integrating existing identities with sexual orientation.

                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                        • Coleman, Eli, and Gary Remadfedi. 1989. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents: A critical challenge to counselors. Journal of Counseling and Development 68.1: 40–46.

                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          This paper highlights the health-care needs of gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLBT) adolescents as a public health imperative and the negative effects of stigma during sexual identity development. The paper outlines ways of fostering healthy development and providing support to adolescents in recovering from stigma and preventing suicide.

                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                          • Cooley, Jonna J. 1998. Gay and lesbian adolescents: Presenting problems and the counselor’s role. Professional School Counseling 1.3: 30–34.

                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            Cooley deals with the negative effects of stigma to both adult and adolescent gay and lesbian populations. The author identifies five major presenting problems and discusses the counselor’s role in identifying these problems, intervening, and instituting change.

                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                            • Craig, Shelley L., Lauren McInroy, Ashley Austin, Mark Smith, and Brett Engle. 2012. Promoting self-efficacy and self-esteem for multiethnic sexual minority youth: An evidence-informed intervention. Journal of Social Service Research 38.5: 688–698.

                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/01488376.2012.718194Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              This study concentrates on Strengths First, the first strengths-based case management intervention created specifically to promote self-esteem and self-efficacy among multiethnic sexual minority youth. A pretest–posttest design is used to gather data over the course of two years. Significant increases in self-esteem and self-efficacy were found, and implications for service providers are described.

                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                              • Dempsey, Cleta. 1994. Health and social issues of gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents. Families in Society 75.3: 160–167.

                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                This paper illuminates the health and social problems encountered by gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) adolescents. The paper also offers an in-depth examination of the struggle with emotional isolation experienced by youth as well as guidelines for social workers dealing with this population.

                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                • King, Shawn. 2008. Exploring the role of counselor support: Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and questioning adolescents struggling with acceptance and disclosure. Journal of GLBT Family Studies 4.3: 361–384.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/15504280802177599Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  This qualitative study uses a grounded theory approach to explore the perceived support of high school counselors by lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning (GLBTQ) youth. One of the findings suggests a need for counselors to be more educated about the challenges GLBTQ students face and to advocate for these students.

                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                  • Morrow, Deana F. 2004. Social work practice with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adolescents. Families in Society 85.1: 91–99.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1606/1044-3894.246Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Morrow furnishes guidelines for social work clinicians working with GLBT youth. Issues such as identity development, disclosure, and emergence of sexuality are explored. The author also outlines the various risk factors encountered by this population, such as isolation, suicide, internalized homophobia, violence, and depression.

                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                    • Peters, Andrew J. 1997. Themes in group work with lesbian and gay adolescents. Social Work with Groups 20.2: 51–69.

                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1300/J009v20n02_05Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      This paper focuses on four foundational themes in understanding how best to help gay and lesbian adolescents in groups: isolation, coming out, learning and relearning, and initiation into a community. Groups are highlighted as a critical factor in overcoming these struggles.

                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                      Health-Related Practice

                                                                                                                                                                      This section describes research on and practice implications for working with adolescent lesbians in health-care settings. The perceived needs of these youth are discussed in Paroski 1987, and Remafedi and Blum 1986 offers a general review of the role of the health provider. Nelson 1997 considers ways to reduce barriers. Key focus areas include confidentiality (Allen, et al. 1998); creating a welcoming clinical environment (Hillard, et al. 2013); the importance of screening for sexual orientation (Kitts 2012) and sexual health (Benson and Hergenroeder 2005); and training health-care providers to be sensitive (Schneider and Tremble 1986).

                                                                                                                                                                      • Allen, Laura B., Anita D. Glicken, Roberta K. Beach, and Kelly E. Naylor. 1998. Adolescent health care experience of gay, lesbian, and bisexual young adults. Journal of Adolescent Health 23.4: 212–220.

                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1016/S1054-139X(98)00022-6Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        This study examines the health-care experience of gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) adolescents. Survey results suggest that health-care providers are ineffectively addressing critical issues presented by GLB adolescents and failing to inform adolescents of their right to confidentiality.

                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                        • Benson, Paul A. S., and Albert C. Hergenroeder. 2005. Bacterial sexually transmitted infections in gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents: Medical and public health perspective. Seminars in Pediatric Infectious Diseases 16.3: 181–191.

                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1053/j.spid.2005.04.007Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          The focus of this article is bacterial sexually transmitted diseases in adolescents with same-gender sexual activity. The article places strong emphasis on the need for health-care providers to be aware of the diverse needs exhibited by this population and stresses the importance of screening, diagnosis, and treatment.

                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                          • Hillard, Paula J. Adams, Elizabeth B. Erbaugh, and Margaret J. Blythe. 2013. Healthcare for lesbian, bisexual, and transgender adolescents. In Practical Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Edited by Paula J. Adams Hillard, 154–157. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            This article provides primary care clinicians with an overview of key health issues among lesbian and bisexual young women. Common health stressors include discrimination, family rejection, homelessness, victimization, substance use, eating disorders, depression, and suicide. Awareness of these issues and creation of a welcoming clinical environment will improve care.

                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                            • Kitts, Robert Li. 2012. Barriers to optimal care between physician and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning adolescent patients. Journal of Homosexuality 57.6: 730–747.

                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2010.485872Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              This paper outlines the barriers to optimal care between physicians and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) adolescents, The data suggest that one of the barriers is failure to consider or ask about sexual orientation and that many barriers persist across medical disciplines.

                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                              • Nelson, John A. 1997. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents: Providing esteem-enhancing care to a battered population. Nurse Practitioner 22.2: 94–109.

                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                Nelson explores the various factors associated with gay and lesbian adolescents’ struggle within society and gives strategies for creating a safe and inclusive environment that reduces the barriers that exist within health-care settings.

                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                • Paroski, Paul A. 1987. Health care delivery and the concerns of gay and lesbian adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health Care 8.2: 188–192.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1016/0197-0070(87)90263-4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  This paper discusses the perceived needs and health-care wishes of gay and lesbian adolescents based on 121 interviews with self-identified homosexual adolescents who have sought services from a New York City gay/lesbian community clinic. Psychosocial issues are also considered.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Remafedi, Gary, and Robert Blum. 1986. Working with gay and lesbian adolescents. Pediatric Annals 15.11: 773–783.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    This paper provides health-care professionals with a review of the literature on the data regarding gay and lesbian adolescents.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Schneider, Margaret, and Bob Tremble. 1986. Training service providers to work with gay or lesbian adolescents: A workshop. Journal of Counseling and Development 65.2: 98–99.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1002/j.1556-6676.1986.tb01242.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      The information provided by this comprehensive workshop presents service providers with a review of literature on working with gay and lesbian adolescents. It highlights the struggles with sexual identity acceptance and coping with stigmatization.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                      back to top