Theories, constructs, and applications in working with LGBT elders in human services

Debra A. Harley, Pamela B. Teaster

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This chapter presents an overview of select theories of sexual orientation and gender identity. Traditional theories of life span development offer a general framework within which to understand issues and experiences common to persons in later stages of life. The intent of this chapter is to discuss theoretical constructs and models of sexual identity, counseling, public health, gerontology, and social work that can be applied with aging LGBT populations. These theories underscore the necessity of helping present and future professionals who understand differences among LGBT elders and the complex nature of identity, their psychosocial adjustment, and ways in which stigma of sexual identity and gender identity affects their well-being. Although the various theories and models in this chapter are presented according to discipline, theories are not mutually exclusive to disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of LGBT Elders
Subtitle of host publicationAn Interdisciplinary Approach to Principles, Practices, and Policies
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783319036236
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016.


  • Gender identity development
  • LGBT theories
  • Life span development theories
  • Sexual orientation identity development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Medicine
  • General Psychology


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