Outness, Concealment, and Authenticity: Associations With LGB Individuals’ Psychological Distress and Well-Being

Ellen D.B. Riggle, Sharon S. Rostosky, Whitney W. Black, Danielle E. Rosenkrantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Outness, concealment, and authenticity have all been theorized to be important to lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) well-being and psychological outcomes. Using a sample of 373 LGB participants, the current study tests the unique contributions of each of these constructs to outcomes measuring psychological well-being, depressive symptoms, and perceived stress. Hierarchical regressions revealed that increased outness was a significant predictor of increased depressive symptoms (counter to the hypothesis but consistent with prior research suggesting that being out may increase risk for experiencing discrimination and minority stress, thus increasing risk for depressive symptoms). Higher levels of LGB-specific concealment were significantly associated with lower psychological well-being and more depressive symptoms. Higher levels of LGB-specific authenticity were significantly associated with higher psychological well-being, fewer depressive symptoms, and lower levels of perceived stress. We suggest that future research on psychological outcomes look beyond outness (and disclosure) to consider more fully the negative impact of actively concealing LGB identities and the contribution of positive identity factors such as authenticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-62
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


  • authenticity
  • concealment
  • disclosure
  • outness
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • General Psychology


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