Sense of belonging and depressive symptoms among GLB adolescents

Claire McCallum, Suzanne McLaren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research has indicated that gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) adolescents are at an increased risk of mental health problems. Research has also indicated that experiencing a sense of belonging is important for one's mental health. This study investigated sense of belonging to the general community and sense of belonging to a GLB specific youth group (Minus18) as predictors of depressive symptoms among self-identified GLB adolescents (N = 99). Participants completed the Sense of Belonging Instrument and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Results showed that although sense of belonging to the general community and sense of belonging to the Minus18 community were both directly related to depression, only sense of belonging to the general community contributed significantly to the prediction of depression when they were entered simultaneously in a regression analysis. Results also showed that sense of belonging to the general community mediated the relation between sense of belonging to the Minus18 community and depression. These findings suggest that interventions aimed at increasing sense of belonging to a GLBspecific community are likely to be of indirect benefit to the mental health of GLB adolescents, whereas interventions aimed at increasing sense of belonging to the general community are likely to be of direct benefit to the mental health of GLB adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-96
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2011

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