Coping With Sexual Orientation–Related Minority Stress

Russell B. Toomey, Caitlin Ryan, Rafael M. Diaz, Stephen T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Little is known about how adolescents cope with minority stressors related to sexual orientation. This study examined 245 lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) young adult’s (ages 21–25) retrospective reports of coping in response to LGB minority stress during adolescence (ages 13–19) to test the reliability and validity of a measure of minority stress coping. Further, the study examined associations between LGB minority stress coping and young adult psychosocial adjustment and high school attainment. Validation and reliability was found for three minority stress coping strategies: LGB-specific strategies (e.g., involvement with LGBT organizations), alternative-seeking strategies (e.g., finding new friends), and cognitive strategies (e.g., imagining a better future). LGB-specific strategies were associated with better psychosocial adjustment and greater likelihood of high school attainment in young adulthood, whereas alternative-seeking and cognitive-based strategies were associated with poorer adjustment and less likelihood of high school attainment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-500
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 21 2018


  • Coping
  • educational attainment
  • minority stress
  • psychosocial adjustment
  • sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • General Psychology


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