Coming out, the digital culture and generational differences impact on LGB happiness




Ligon, Ben

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Relational Cultural Theory (RCT) and Generational Theory (GT) were used to illustrate the roles of outness, the digital culture, and generational differences amongst Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) individuals' reported happiness. Sexual orientation disclosure by LGB individuals is often met with oppression, prejudice, discrimination, and social marginalization in the United States. RCT was used in this dissertation to frame connection and disconnection related to LGB persons' experiences of happiness due to use of digital technologies and levels of outness. GT described LGB individuals from the Baby Boomer, Generation X and Millennial generation groups, and their levels of self-disclosure, use of digital technologies and self-reported feelings of happiness.

This study examined the coming out experience, the use of digital technologies, and happiness amongst LGB members of the Baby Boomer, Generation X and Millennial generation groups using data from the Social Justice Sexuality (SJS) Project (Battle, Pastrana, & Daniels, 2010). Two multiple regressions (MR) were used to determine the specific relationship between LGB persons' gender identity disclosure and their use of digital technologies associated with their self-reported experiences of happiness. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to examine differences between LGB persons of the Baby Boomer, Generation X and Millennial generations.

MR results revealed that level of outness to others was the biggest predictor of experiencing happiness, followed by use of digital technologies. The MANOVA showed a difference in the mean subscale scores for LGB persons regarding their level of outness, digital technology use, and self-reported feelings of happiness between group members of the Baby Boomer, Generation X and Millennial generation. Implications for counselors are provided.


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Coming Out, Counseling, counselor education and supervision, Digital Culture, Generation, LGB