Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Dawn M. Szymanski

Committee Members

Joseph R. Miles, Gina P. Owens


In this study, we examined the relations between LGBQ microaggressions and internalized heterosexism and depression among 568 LGBQ college students who completed an online survey. We also considered the moderating/buffering roles of positive peer group relations and involvement in LGBQ campus activities in these links. Results showed that LGBQ microaggressions and internalized heterosexism were positively related to depression at the bivariate level. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that positive peer group relations moderated the relation between internalized heterosexism and depression. Internalized heterosexism predicted depression for students with low levels of positive peer group relations, but not for those with moderate or high levels. We also found a conditional direct effect, where LGBTQ microaggressions predicted depression and this effect was stronger for those with high involvement in LGBQ campus activities. Our findings underscore the importance of attending to experiences of minority stress when working with LGBQ clients presenting with depression and helping them increase positive peer group relations and consider the potential costs and benefits involved in participating in LGBQ campus activities.

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