Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Sharon Scales Rostosky


Chrisler’s (2017) Theoretical Framework of Parental Reactions When a Child Comes Out as Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual suggests that parental reactions to having a non-heteronormative child are impacted by a process of cognitively appraising information about their child’s identity and experiencing and coping with emotional responses, both of which are influenced by contextual factors such as a parent’s value system. However, some religious values can challenge parents in the process of accepting a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) child. The purpose of this study was to test a model that examines the influence of cognitive-affective factors (cognitive flexibility, emotional regulation), religious-value based factors (religious fundamentalism, parental sanctification), and gender and sexual identity on self-reported parental acceptance. Participants were 663 parents of LGBT children who submitted responses to an online survey. A Tobit regression with a single-indicator latent variable approach revealed that religious fundamentalism, parental sanctification, the control component of cognitive flexibility, parent gender, and parent sexual identity significantly predicted parental acceptance. Lower religious fundamentalism, higher parental sanctification, and higher cognitive flexibility scores were associated with parental acceptance of an LGBT child. Participants identifying as a woman or LGB parent also significantly predicted acceptance. Implications of findings are discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)