Sexual Identity Milestone Attainment: Understanding Differences among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young People
KeywordsFamily & Consumer Sciences
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThose examining lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) sexual identity development have largely shifted away from testing stage models of the past (Cass, 1979; Coleman, 1982; Troiden, 1989) to understanding differences in the age and order of milestone occurrence and issues of timing. Examination of milestone attainment was more prevalent at the turn of the 21st century and thus less is known about milestone attainment among current cohorts of LGB identified young people. The goals of this dissertation were to 1) describe milestone attainment among a recent cohort of LGB identified young people, examining group differences, 2) examine the connection between age of milestone attainment and indicators of mental health and substance use, focusing on bias-based victimization as a potential moderator, 3) explore racism as a mediator to explain differences in age of milestone attainment among LGB young people of color. Three papers were produced using data from a three-site longitudinal panel study of risk and protective factors for suicide among LGB, transgender, and queer/questioning youth. Results indicated that age of milestone attainment for first label as LGB, first disclosure to another person, and first same-sex sexual experience were younger in this contemporary cohort of young people compared to results found in previous studies. However, few group differences were found. Additionally, associations were found between younger age of milestone attainment and more reports of substance use. Implications for health promotion and prevention programs as well as future research directions are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family & Consumer Sciences