WASHINGTON — Teen romance can help lesbian and gay teens feel less mentally stressed and appears to work differently in LG teens than it does for their straight counterparts where studies have found it more often adds distress rather than alleviates it according to findings from new research published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology and reported on by the Washington Post and other outlets.
But the study of LGBT youth also showed romance can make bisexual youth feel worse. Too few transgender youth were included in the study to determine the effects of romance on this group, the Post reports.
For gay or lesbian young people, however, being in a relationship can be a huge source of support.
Researchers asked 248 sexual minority youth in Chicago about their romantic relationships, level of psychological distress and frequency of stigmatization, starting when they were between 16-20 and then following up over five years.
Lesbian and gay youth were 17 percent less distressed when they were in relationships than when they were not in relationships, the study found. But bisexuals were actually 19 percent more distressed in relationships, the Post reports.