Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 24 Oct 2018 Family acceptance of ...

Family acceptance of those identifying as LGBT linked to reduced stress: Study

ANI
Published Oct 24, 2018, 2:46 pm IST
Updated Oct 24, 2018, 2:46 pm IST
Those who receive support from their families are less likely to think about suicide.
Family acceptance of those identifying as LGBT linked to reduced stress. (Photo: Pixabay)
 Family acceptance of those identifying as LGBT linked to reduced stress. (Photo: Pixabay)

Washington: According to a study, to be able to comfortably talk about your sexual identity - with family members specifically - is associated with reduced stress.

The Ohio University study has been published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

 

Researcher, Dr. Peggy Zoccola, determined that those who identify as LGBT and have come out to their family carry less stress hormones than those who have not come out, which may ultimately benefit their health.

The study by Zoccola and co-author Andrew Manigaul discusses how feeling able to comfortably talk about your sexual identity with family members specifically, appears to be most linked to the output of cortisol, the stress hormone that can damage an individual's health if produced in large quantity.

"The real stress punch seems to be with the family," said Zoccola when referencing how greater disclosure of a LGBT individual's sexuality to their family is strongly linked to lower cortisol.

She points out that there has been sparse research on how the aspects of coming out by LGBT adults affect the release of stress hormones, however, some early studies have shown that if people who identify as sexual minorities feel acceptance from their families, they have higher self-esteem, lower depression and substance use rates and are less likely to think about suicide.

The results of Zoccola's research showed that the more open people were to disclosing their sexuality with their family, the lower cortisol levels they had.

"For these emerging adults, the family provides a foundation of support," said Zoccola. "If they're comfortable disclosing to their family, they seem to have a protective stress profile."

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