Sexual identity management of GLB emerging adults in social support contexts

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This study examined the sexual identity management strategies employed by GLB emerging adults when interacting with their parents, siblings, and close peers. For each context, perceived acceptance of sexual orientation and relationship closeness were examined as predictors of being explicitly out. Being explicitly out was also examined as a predictor of psychological well-being. Data were collected from 98 self-identified GLB individuals, who ranged from 18 to 22 years old and were currently college students from the Philippines. Results showed significant differences in the use of sexual identity management strategies depending on who they are interacting with. There was a greater likelihood to be explicitly out to close friends rather than family members. Perceived acceptance was a consistent predictor of being explicitly out across contexts although relationship closeness was not. However, relationship closeness significantly moderated the relationship between perceived acceptance and being explicitly out to parents. As hypothesized, being explicitly out significantly predicted psychological well-being with parents and siblings. This study expands the scope of the Identity Management Theory by showing how sexual identity is managed differently across various contexts.