Perceived social support of gay, lesbian, and biesexual students : implications for counseling psychology
Factors that affect perceived social support in gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) college students, including expectations concerning disclosure of sexual minority orientation, perceived family support, and perceived supportiveness of school environment are discussed. GLB identity formation and stigmatization are reviewed. Perceived social support, counselor support/working alliance, and sexual orientation were assessed with the Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ), the Working Alliance Inventory — Short Form (WAI-S) and a modified Kinsey Scale respectively. The implications that variation in each of these factors may have in relation to perceived social support and mental health counseling of GLB college students were considered after data were collected and analyzed. Findings indicate that little difference in perceived social support exist between GLB and heterosexual college students, in perceived social support in counseling relationships, or between genders in the GLB student population. Findings indicate that a significant difference in perceived social support exists between those GLB students who have disclosed their sexual orientation status one year or longer ago and those GLB students who had not disclosed their sexual orientation at all or less than one year ago.