The impact of family relationships on LGBQ youth mental health and wellbeing


  • Dr Elizabeth McDermott

    Lancaster University

Project summary

Global research consistently demonstrates that young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer (LGBQ) are at a much higher risk of poor mental health than their heterosexual counterparts. Research suggests that a key risk factor associated with poor mental health in youth populations is conflict with family about sexual orientation. However, little research has focused on how the family environment influences the mental health of LGBQ young people.

We will carry out a pilot study with LGBQ youth (aged 16-25 years) and their family members, leading to the design and development of a larger study that will generate robust evidence on how family relationships foster, maintain or adversely affect the mental health and wellbeing of LGBQ youth.

The pilot will trial the feasibility for the larger study by developing: research questions; an interdisciplinary theoretical framework; innovative online and visual methodologies; and recruitment viability. The evidence will be used to develop family-based interventions to improve LGBQ youth mental health and wellbeing.