Measurement Equivalence of Family Acceptance/Rejection Among Sexual and Gender Minority Youth by Disclosure Status

Amanda M. Pollitt, Jessica N. Fish, Ryan J. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Family acceptance is a crucial component of healthy development during adolescence, especially for sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) who often fear rejection from family members. Studies focused on SGMY family environments often utilize broad measures that fail to capture SGMY-specific aspects of family acceptance and rejection. Less research has considered how the measurement of family acceptance and rejection might differ depending on whether SGMY have disclosed their sexual and/or gender identities to their parents. We used data from a national nonprobability sample of 9,127 SGMY in the United States who had either disclosed (n = 6,683) or not disclosed (n = 2,444) their sexual and/or gender identities to parents to test the factor structure of an eight-item measure of family acceptance and rejection and differences by disclosure status. A two-factor, negatively correlated model reflecting constructs of family acceptance and family rejection was equivalent across disclosure groups. Youth who had disclosed their identity reported greater acceptance and less rejection and showed a stronger negative association between the two constructs than nondisclosed youth. Family acceptance, but not rejection, had higher variability among disclosed youth than nondisclosed youth. Results suggest that the family environments of SGMY are simultaneously characterized by accepting and rejecting behaviors. Though families of disclosed youth appear to be more accepting and less rejecting, the experiences of these youth are complex. Findings suggest that research on SGMY family environment must consider both supportive and undermining behaviors and that the measures assessed here operate similarly for youth based on disclosure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-202
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 12 2023

Keywords

  • acceptance and rejection
  • adolescence
  • family environments
  • identity disclosure
  • sexual and gender minority youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology

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