Religion/Spirituality, Stress, and Resilience Among Sexual and Gender Minorities: The Religious/Spiritual Stress and Resilience Model

G. Tyler Lefevor, Chana Etengoff, Edward B. Davis, Samuel J. Skidmore, Eric M. Rodriguez, James S. McGraw, Sharon S. Rostosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Although many sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) consider themselves religious or spiritual, the impact of this religiousness or spirituality (RS) on their health is poorly understood. We introduce the religious/spiritual stress and resilience model (RSSR) to provide a robust framework for understanding the variegated ways that RS influences the health of SGMs. The RSSR bridges existing theorizing on minority stress, structural stigma, and RS-health pathways to articulate the circumstances under which SGMs likely experience RS as health promoting or health damaging. The RSSR makes five key propositions: (a) Minority stress and resilience processes influence health; (b) RS influences general resilience processes; (c) RS influences minority-specific stress and resilience processes; (d) these relationships are moderated by a number of variables uniquely relevant to RS among SGMs, such as congregational stances on same-sex sexual behavior and gender expression or an individual’s degree of SGM and RS identity integration; and (e) relationships between minority stress and resilience, RS, and health are bidirectional. In this manuscript, we describe the empirical basis for each of the five propositions focusing on research examining the relationship between RS and health among SGMs. We conclude by describing how the RSSR may inform future research on RS and health among SGMs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1537-1561
Number of pages25
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • minority stress
  • religion
  • resilience
  • spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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