Volume 29, Issue 2 (2000)
An Attachment Perspective on the Developmental Challenges of Gay and Lesbian Adolescents: The Need for Continuity of Caregiving From Family and Schools
Deborah Tharinger, Greg Wells
Abstract: Psychologists and educators need to be aware of developmental challenges that are present for gay and lesbian youth as well as the factors that are protective in negotiating homosexual orientation. This article reviews developmental tasks and trajectories in the adolescence period as well as central risk and protective factors. Attachment theory is used as the theoretical base to understand the impact that rejection of relationship connections can have on the development of gay and lesbian adolescents. The developmental challenges for gay and lesbian youth are addressed as are the frequent failure of families and schools to provide continuity of secure care giving to these youth. School psychologists are challenged to promote and be part of a response that provides a secure base and promotes healthy development for gay and lesbian adolescents.
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