Publication Date

2014-05-02

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2014-05-05

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2013-12-17

First Committee Member

Kristin Lindahl

Second Committee Member

Neena Malik

Third Committee Member

Annette La Greca

Abstract

This study examined peer victimization (general and sexuality-specific victimization) and family resources (general family resources and sexuality-specific support) and their associations with sexual identity development in sexual minority youth. A multi-ethnic sample of 171 youth, ranging from in age 14 to 26 years, was recruited (mean age = 19.5 years). Descriptive information was collected regarding peer victimization (overt, relational, reputational, cyber, and sexuality related victimization) rates in the sample. Additionally, a model was tested using structural equation modeling that examined general family resources and sexuality-specific family support as a potential moderator of the relationships between a) general peer victimization and LGB identity, and b) sexuality-specific victimization and LGB identity. Key findings indicated LGB individuals who experienced sexuality-specific victimization, but had sexuality-specific support from family members, had a more positive sense of identity. General family resources was not found to buffer the relationship between general peer victimization and negative identity development in the full model. Sexuality support may be especially relevant to identity development among LGB youth. Implications for research and clinical intervention with regard to sexuality-specific support are discussed.

Keywords

LGB youth; sexual identity; family resources; family support; gay youth; peer victimization; sexuality specific victimization, sexuality specific support

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