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Participants needed for research into family rejection of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


Clinical Psychology PhD Candidate Geoffrey Carastathis from the School of Psychology and Social Science is currently recruiting participants for his study investigating how gay, lesbian, and bisexual young people cope with family rejection.

Generally, attitudes and behaviours toward homosexuals and bisexuals are negative. Australian research showed that nearly 50 per cent of Australians considered homosexuality to be “wrong all of the time” with only one-third considering it “not wrong at all”.

With such attitudes it is not surprising that when an individual’s orientation is disclosed or found out, it can often be faced with great negativity, harassment, victimisation, and rejection. Parents and close family members are of particular concern for young people disclosing their non-heterosexual orientation.

Family rejection can lead to a number of negative psychological and behavioural issues both at the time of disclosure and later in life. Research shows that those who experience higher levels of family rejection are 8.4 times more likely to have attempted suicide; 5.9 times more likely to experience high levels of depression; and 3.4 times more likely to use illicit drugs, compared with gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals who report not being rejected by their family.

This research aims to find out what factors are most useful in coping with family rejection. It is hoped that results from the study will inform clinical practice and community interventions which assist those experiencing family rejection.

To take part in the study, participants need to:

  1. Identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual
  2. Aged between 18 and 35
  3. Have come out between ages 13 and 24

Participation involves a confidential interview at a convenient time and place.

Participants can go into a draw to win one of two David Jones gift vouchers.

This research has been approved by the Edith Cowan University Human Research Ethics Committee.

If you would like any further information or would like to participate in this study, please contact Geoff Carastathis on 0421 862 573 or email


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