The role of thwarted belongingness on the relationship between microaggressions and mental health for LGBTQ+ emerging adults

Traci Wike, Camie A. Tomlinson, Alex Wagaman, Angela Matijczak, Jennifer Murphy, Keith Watts, Kelly O’Connor, Shelby McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated thwarted belongingness as a moderator of the relationship between microaggressions and mental health among LGBTQ+ emerging adults. Using data collected from 186 LGBTQ+ emerging adults, we conducted separate moderation analyses to examine whether, and to what extent, the relation between microaggressions and mental health (i.e. anxiety and depressive symptoms) is moderated by thwarted belongingness. Interpersonal and environmental microaggressions were associated with anxiety and depressive symptoms. Results of the moderation models suggest that the effects of interpersonal and environmental microaggressions on anxiety symptoms were moderated by thwarted belongingness, and that relations between interpersonal and environmental microaggressions and anxiety symptoms were statistically significant and positive at moderate and high levels of thwarted belongingness. In contrast, at low levels of thwarted belongingness, the relationship between microaggressions and anxiety was not statistically significant. Thwarted belongingness also moderated the relationship between interpersonal microaggressions and depression, such that the relation between interpersonal microaggressions and depression was statistically significant and positive only at high and moderate levels. These findings provide support for recognizing belongingness as a potential factor in determining the effects of microaggressions on mental health outcomes for LGBTQ+ emerging adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-303
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data collection for the LGBTQ Youth Supports study was funded by the VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund (PI: McDonald). The research reported in this publication is supported by a National Institute of Health, Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program Award through the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (PI: McDonald; Grant #1L60HD103238-01). We would like to acknowledge the youth and young adults who participated in this research by graciously sharing their stories. We also thank the staff at Side by Side, Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, Nationz Foundation, and Health Brigade for their contribution to this work and continued investment in our project. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. +

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [Grant Number #1L60HD103238-01]; VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund. Data collection for the LGBTQ+ Youth Supports study was funded by the VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund (PI: McDonald). The research reported in this publication is supported by a National Institute of Health, Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program Award through the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (PI: McDonald; Grant #1L60HD103238-01). We would like to acknowledge the youth and young adults who participated in this research by graciously sharing their stories. We also thank the staff at Side by Side, Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, Nationz Foundation, and Health Brigade for their contribution to this work and continued investment in our project. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • LGBTQ+
  • emerging adulthood
  • mental health
  • microaggressions
  • thwarted belongingness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (all)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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