Communication with parents and friends as a buffer against symptoms of anxiety and depression among same-sex attracted youth

Tessa M L Kaufman, Laura Baams, Henny M.W. Bos

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Abstract

Previous research shows that adolescents who experience same-sex attraction,
or report crushes on people of the same sex (same-sex attracted; SSA) also
report more anxiety and depression compared to youth who do not experience
same-sex attraction, due to experiences with discrimination and rejection. In
the current study, we examine whether the quality of communication with parents
and disclosure to friends, face to face or online, can buffer the relation between
SSA and anxiety and depression. A total of 716 Dutch adolescents (Mage
= 15.4) completed a survey on psychological health and communication with
parents, and peers offline and online. The results of a regression analysis show
that same-sex attraction was related to more anxiety and depression, but that
this relation was buffered by a high level of disclosure to peers in face to face
interactions. This buffering role was not found for quality of communication
with parents or for disclosure to peers online. The findings of the current study
show that sharing personal feelings and experiences with friends during face to
face interactions can have a positive function, especially for SSA adolescents.
Translated title of the contributionCommunication with parents and friends as a buffer against symptoms of anxiety and depression among same-sex attracted youth
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)128-145
Number of pages17
JournalPedagogiek
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jun-2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • same-sex attraction
  • communication
  • anxiety and depression
  • parent-child
  • Friendships

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