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J Youth Adolesc. 2016 Mar;45(3):440-56. doi: 10.1007/s10964-015-0403-0. Epub 2016 Jan 9.

Disparities in Depressive Symptoms Between Heterosexual and Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth in a Dutch Cohort: The TRAILS Study.

Author information

1
Department of Sociology, Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS), University of Groningen, Grote Rozenstraat 31, 9712 TG, Groningen, The Netherlands. c.la.roi@rug.nl.
2
Department of Pedagogy and Educational Science, University of Groningen, Grote Rozenstraat 38, 9712 TJ, Groningen, The Netherlands.
3
Interdisciplinary Center Psychopathology and Emotion Regulation (ICPE), University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, 9713 GZ, Groningen, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Sociology, Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS), University of Groningen, Grote Rozenstraat 31, 9712 TG, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth experience elevated levels of depressive symptoms compared to heterosexual youth. This study examined how differences in depressive symptoms between heterosexual and LGB youth developed from late childhood to early adulthood. The association between sexual orientation and depressive symptoms was estimated from age 11 to 22 using data from the TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey, a longitudinal Dutch cohort study. Of the 1738 respondents (54.8 % girls) that provided information on sexual orientation, 151 self-identified as LGB. In line with the Minority Stress Framework, it was tested whether self-reported peer victimization and parental rejection mediated the association between sexual orientation and depressive symptoms. Results indicated that LB girls and bisexuals were at increased risk of depressive symptoms already at age 11. The difference increased over time and was related to pubertal development in girls and bisexual individuals. Furthermore, self-reported peer victimization (for both boys and girls), as well as parental rejection (for girls/bisexuals), mediated the association between sexual orientation and depressive symptoms. The authors conclude that already in late childhood, associations between sexual orientation and depressive symptoms are found, partly due to minority stress mechanisms.

KEYWORDS:

Depressive symptoms; LGB youth; Minority stress; Parental rejection; Peer victimization; Pubertal development

PMID:
26748920
PMCID:
PMC4749655
DOI:
10.1007/s10964-015-0403-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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