Supporting Youth in the Coming-Out Process: Theory-Based Programming

Andy Dunlap, Elizabethtown College


This article outlines the problems faced by today's same-sex attracted youth and provides a framework for administrators, social workers, and teachers to develop well-planned and specifically targeted supports for this often vulnerable population. Research on risk factors for same-sex attracted youth are reviewed, and three theories of coming out (stage models, constructivist models, and a self-psychology theory) are interwoven to provide a retheorizing of coming out appropriate to our same-sex attracted youth in our present-day communities. Specific recommendations for clinical social work practice follow from this examination of the coming-out process. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.