Sense of belonging to the general and Lesbian communities as predictors of depression among Lesbians

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Abstract

Research has indicated that a sense of belonging is important for mental health. This study investigated sense of belonging to the general community and sense of belonging to the lesbian community as predictors of depression among self-identified lesbians (n = 178). Participants completed the Psychological subscale of the Sense of Belonging Instrument and the Depression subscale of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales. Results showed that although sense of belonging to the general community and sense of belonging to the lesbian community were directly related to depression, only sense of belonging to the general community contributed significantly to the prediction of depression when they were entered together in a regression analysis. Sense of belonging to the general community and sense of belonging to the lesbian community interacted in the prediction of depression. Low sense of belonging to the general community buffered the association between sense of belonging to the lesbian community and depression, while high sense of belonging to the general community exacerbated the association between sense of belonging to the lesbian community and depression. Results also showed that sense of belonging to the general community mediated the relation between sense of belonging to the lesbian community and depression. Results imply that enhancing a sense of belonging to the general community should be a priority for lesbians who do not feel that they belong to the lesbian community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2009

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