Semester of Graduation

Fall 2022


Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Research demonstrates that adolescents social support plays an important role in protecting against adverse events (e.g., Brewin & MacCarthy, 1989; Muzik et al., 2017). LGBQ adolescents have been shown to experience greater adverse experiences such a daily microaggressions and higher rates of both childhood adversity (Baams, 2018) and peer victimization (Kosciw et al., 2014). Increased stressors often lead to poorer outcomes in this population. Social support research for adolescents has shown that different sources of social support have shown to buffer these reported issues (e.g., greater parent and peer support buffers suicidal ideation, Fredrick et al., 2018). Studies with LGBQ youth have not focused on a broad range of social support resources. Additionally, this research has underrepresented younger adolescents and not considered the differences between different sexual orientations. The purpose of the first study was to compare. The study included 15 adolescents from each sexual orientation: heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual (n =45). The findings indicated that heterosexual youth have significantly greater social support from non-relative adults than homosexual youth. Homosexual and bisexual youth reported significant variations between social support sources where heterosexual youth’s social support was comparable across sources. The purpose of the second study examine the relationship of social support sources on depression and anxiety for homosexual and bisexual youth, respectively. The study had 87 participants and showed significant differences in the impact of social support for both homosexual and bisexual participants as well as both anxiety and depression. The study suggests that research should continue to compare differences between a range of sexual orientations rather than for the LGBQ population as a whole.



Committee Chair

Kelley, Mary Lou