Network and Proximity Effects on LGBTQ Youth’s Psychological Outcomes during a Camp Intervention

Traci K. Gillig, Leila Bighash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Research has found a tendency for youth’s psychological states to influence their friendship development, and vice versa. Whether this occurs among LGBTQ youth in the context of identity-affirming intervention programming has not been established. The current study provides a longitudinal assessment of self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and anxiety in a network of 238 youth ages 12 to 18 participating in a summer camp for young LGBTQ people. Results showed youth experienced significant increases in self-esteem and decreases in depressive symptoms and anxiety at camp. Peer proximity based on cabin assignment influenced youth’s depressive symptoms over time. The network processes of peer selection and influence did not significantly affect psychological outcomes. Our findings highlight the impact of affirming programming on the self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and anxiety of LGBTQ youth and the influence of intervention-based proximity on youth’s depressive symptoms over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-647
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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