Psychology ETDs

Publication Date



Like racial and ethnic minorities, sexual minorities (lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people) are at increased risk for mental (Meyer, 2003; Hatzenbuehler, 2009) and physical (Conran, Mimiaga, & Landers, 2008; Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, 2010; Huebner & Davis, 2007) health problems compared to heterosexuals. The current study attempted to 1) determine if the stress related to discrimination mediated the relationship between discrimination and health and well-being for LGB people, and 2) and identify risk and resilience factors specific to LGB people that might moderate the relationship between discrimination related stress and LGB health, mental health and satisfaction with life. Three hundred and five people who self-identified as LGB completed an online survey. Thirty nine percent of participants self-identified as lesbian, 33% identified as gay male, 16% identified as bisexual female, and 11% identified as bisexual male. Mean age was 42 years (SD=16.04). The racial/ethnic composition of the sample was Caucasian (78%), Hispanic (6%), Black (4%), Asian (3%), Alaskan (1%) and Multiracial (8%). Annual household income was less than $20,000 (17%), $20,000-$39,999 (22%), $40,000-$59,999 (19%), $60,000-79,999 (13%), and over $80,000 (29%). MOS-36 mental health composite scores for the sample were one-half standard deviation below the general population mean. Correlational analysis revealed relationships between mental health outcomes and most of the study variables including discrimination. Significant similarities were found between racial and sexual minority populations experiences of discrimination. Three path analyses investigated whether perceived stress mediated the relationship between lifetime experiences of discrimination and the dependent variables of the study; 1) physical health 2) mental health, and 3) satisfaction with life. Four analyses examined moderating effects of LGB risk and resilience factors (internalized heterosexism , stigma consciousness, disclosure of sexual orientation and community connectedness), on the relationship between perceived stress and the dependent variables. Only a trend towards a significant interaction was found for internalized heterosexism moderating the relationship between perceived stress and mental health outcomes.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Advisor

Smith, Bruce W.

First Committee Member (Chair)

Smith, Bruce W.

Second Committee Member

Dougher, Michael J.

Third Committee Member

Bryan, Angela D.

Fourth Committee Member

Verney, Steven P.

Fifth Committee Member

Klonoff, Elizabeth A.




Homophobia--Health aspects, Gays--Mental health.

Document Type