HealthDay News — Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens who come out at high school have better mental health as young adults than those who aren’t open with their fellow high school students, according to a new study.

Researchers examined data from a San Francisco State University survey of 245 Hispanic and white lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young adults, ages 21 to 25. The participants said they were bullied in high school, whether they had come out or not.

Those who were open about their sexual orientation or gender identity in high school had higher levels of self-esteem and life satisfaction and lower levels of depression as young adults than those who did not reveal, or tried to conceal, their LGBT identity, according to the study published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.

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“The thing that’s encouraging is that we’ve found being out is good for you,” study leader Stephen Russell, director of the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth and Families at the University of Arizona, said in a university news release.

The findings can help parents, school officials and others provide the best support and guidance for LGBT teens, according to Russell.


Russell ST. Being out at school: The implications for school victimization and young adult adjustment. Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2014; 84(6):635-643.