Minority stress, perceived burdensomeness, and depressive symptoms among sexual minority youth

Laura Baams, Judith Semon Dubas, Stephen T. Russell, Rosemarie L. Buikema, Marcel A.G. van Aken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Although studies have shown links between minority stress and mental health (e.g., Meyer, 2003), there is little research explaining this association. Research has suggested that adequate coping skills might protect youth from the negative impact of stress (Compas et al., 2017). Thus, we aimed to examine: 1) whether associations between minority stress and depressive symptoms occurred through mechanisms of perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness, and 2) whether these associations were dependent on level of problem-solving coping (moderated mediation). Using an online survey of 267 sexual minority youth from the Netherlands (16–22 years; 28.8% male), the results show an indirect relationship of sexual orientation victimization and internalized homophobia with depressive symptoms occurring through perceived burdensomeness; for both males and females. Problem-solving coping skills did not significantly moderate the aforementioned indirect relationships. These results have implications for prevention and intervention work that currently focuses on social isolation rather than perceived burdensomeness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Adolescence
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Coping
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Interpersonal-psychological theory
  • Minority stress
  • Sexual minority youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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