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Perceived parental reactions to coming out, attachment, and romantic relationship views

Carnelley, KB, Hepper, E, Hicks, C and Turner, W (2011) Perceived parental reactions to coming out, attachment, and romantic relationship views Attachment and Human Development, 13 (3). pp. 217-236.

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Coming out as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) to one’s parents can be a challenging experience and may lead to acceptance or rejection. Attachment theory can help predict parents’ reactions to coming out and consequences for romantic attachment. In a crosssectional study of 309 LGB individuals, we found that those who perceived their mother as accepting in childhood were more likely to have come out to her. Moreover, parents perceived as accepting and independence-encouraging in childhood were reported to react more positively to their child’s sexual orientation. Mothers’ positive reactions were associated with lower romantic attachment anxiety for men. The links between parent-child relationship quality and optimism and trust in romantic relationships were mediated by romantic attachment patterns. Findings support the contention that LGB pair bonds are attachment relationships, and underline the importance of prior parent-child relationships for predicting LGB individuals’ experience of coming out and romantic relationships.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Date : 18 April 2011
Identification Number : 10.1080/14616734.2011.563828
Uncontrolled Keywords : attachment, sexual orientation, coming out, relationship views, parent-child relations
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published as Carnelley KB, Hepper E, Hicks C, Turner W (2011). Perceived parental reactions to coming out, attachment, and romantic relationship views. Attachment and Human Development 13(3):217-236 Available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 11 Jul 2014 14:50
Last Modified : 19 Jul 2014 13:35

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