Volume 37, Issue 2 (2008)
Well-Being Among Same-Sex- and Opposite-Sex-Attracted Youth at School
Ian Rivers, Nathalie Noret
Abstract. In this study, 53 students who reported being solely or primarily attracted to members of the same sex were matched with 53 peers who reported being attracted solely to members of the opposite sex on various demographic factors as well as exposure to bullying at school. Data relating to tobacco and alcohol use, drug use, health risk behaviors, concerns and sources of social support, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, suicide ideation, loneliness, and concentration were analyzed. Results indicated that same-sex-attracted students reported drinking alcohol alone more than opposite-sex-attracted peers; however, they were no more likely to engage in health-risk behaviors, or use Class 1 and 2 drugs. They were more likely to report being worried about being lesbian or gay, and were more likely to seek support from a member of school staff than opposite-sex-attracted peers. In terms of psychological well-being, same-sex-attracted students scored significantly higher on a hostility subscale when compared to opposite-sex-attracted peers and were more likely to report feeling lonely. These results suggest that the management of reactive aggression or hostility toward others may be a key determinant of healthy gay, lesbian, and bisexual development.
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