Title

Stressors for Gay Men and Lesbians: Life Stress, Gay-Related Stress, Stigma Consciousness, and Depressive Symptoms

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Date

12-2003

Document Type

Article

Medical Subject Headings

Homosexuality; Stress, Psychological; Life Stress

Disciplines

Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology

Abstract

Gay-related stress occurs when gay men and lesbians must deal with stressors that are unique to their sexual orientation. This research examined the relationship of gay-related stress and life events to depressive symptoms. Other potential predictors of depressive symptoms were also considered (internalized homophobia, stigma consciousness, and openness about sexual orientation). A sample of 204 (110 men, and 91 women, three sex-unspecified) gay/lesbian/bisexual individuals completed a packet of self-report measures. The importance of the construct of gay-related stress was demonstrated by explaining independent variance in depressive symptoms compared to variance explained by life stress. Those who reported more severe life stress and more severe gay-related stress also reported more depressive symptoms. Also, gay-related stress and stigma consciousness were independent predictors of depressive symptoms. Those with more severe gay-related stress and more stigma consciousness reported more depressive symptoms. Our results suggest that the construct of gay-related stress is important to understanding the experiences of gay/lesbian/bisexual individuals.

Comments

Citation: Robin J. Lewis, Valerian J. Derlega, Jessica L. Griffin, Alison C. Krowinski (2003). Stressors for Gay Men and Lesbians: Life Stress, Gay-Related Stress, Stigma Consciousness, and Depressive Symptoms. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology: Vol. 22, No. 6, pp. 716-729. doi: 10.1521/jscp.22.6.716.22932

At the time of publication, Jessica Griffin was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.