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Coming out as lesbian, gay, or bisexual: the lasting impact of initial disclosure experiences

Ryan, William S., Legate, Nicole and Weinstein, Netta ORCID: 2015. Coming out as lesbian, gay, or bisexual: the lasting impact of initial disclosure experiences. Self and Identity 14 (5) , pp. 549-569. 10.1080/15298868.2015.1029516

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Though previous research indicates that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals may benefit from disclosing their sexual identity, or coming out, doing so also carries with it significant risks due to its stigmatized status. LGB individuals (N = 108) were surveyed regarding their initial experiences coming out, including the first person to whom they disclosed, their mother, father, and best friend. Results indicated that negative reactions to disclosure were associated with higher depression and lower self-esteem, whereas positive reactions did not explain additional variance in well-being. Autonomy need satisfaction following disclosure mediated the relation between negative reactions and lower well-being. Discussion focuses on the coming out process and the importance of autonomy support in identity integration and well-being.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sexual identity; Coming out; Autonomy; Well-being; Disclosure
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1529-8868
Date of Acceptance: 9 March 2015
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 07:22

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