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Anxiety Stress Coping. 2016;29(2):119-38. doi: 10.1080/10615806.2015.1004324. Epub 2015 Feb 16.

Retrospective coping strategies during sexual identity formation and current biopsychosocial stress.

Author information

1
a Centre for Studies on Human Stress , Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal , 7401 Hochelaga, Pavilion Louis Riel, Montreal , QC H1N 3M5 , Canada.
2
b Integrated Program in Neuroscience , McGill University , Montreal , QC , Canada.
3
c Department of Psychology , University of Montreal , Montreal , QC , Canada.
4
d Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal , Montreal , QC , Canada.
5
e Department of Social Work , University of Quebec in Montreal , Montreal , QC , Canada.
6
f Neurology and Neurosurgery , McGill University , Montréal , QC H3A 0G4 , Canada.
7
g Center for Sexual Health, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health , University of Minnesota Medical School , Minneapolis , MN , USA.
8
h Department of Educational Psychology , University of Houston , Houston , TX , USA.
9
i Department of Psychiatry , University of Montreal , Montreal , QC , Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Lesbian, gay men, and bisexual individuals (LGBs) often experience distress related to the recognition, self-acceptance, and disclosure of their sexual orientation.

OBJECTIVES AND DESIGN:

Retrospectively reported coping strategies enacted during sexual identity formation among LGBs were assessed in relation to current stress indices measured using environmental (frequency of perceived daily hassles), psychological (perceived distress), and biological (allostatic load [AL] levels representing physiological dysregulations) perspectives.

METHODS:

Forty-six healthy LGBs between the ages of 18 and 45 (M = 23.91, SE = .80) participated. Questionnaires included the Ways of Coping Checklist adapted to disclosure milestones, Daily Hassles Inventory, and Perceived Stress Scale. AL was calculated using 21 biomarkers of neuroendocrine, immune, cardiovascular, and metabolic functioning.

RESULTS:

Avoidance coping during sexual identity formation was positively associated with frequency of daily hassles (β = .598, p < .001), perceived stress (β = .361, p = .015), and AL (β = .405, p = .006). By contrast, seeking social support was negatively associated with perceived stress (β = -.598, p = .048).

CONCLUSIONS:

Emotion-focused coping strategies during LGB sexual identity development are associated with current indices of biopsychosocial stress.

KEYWORDS:

allostatic load; coping strategies; daily hassles; perceived stress; sexual orientation/identity; transdisciplinarity

PMID:
25599254
DOI:
10.1080/10615806.2015.1004324
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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