Date of Award
Master of Arts
Joseph R. Miles
Joseph R. Miles, Kirsten A. Gonzalez, Patrick R. Grzanka
Having a secure Attachment to God (ATG) has been found to be related to better mental health and well-being for Christian individuals and has been shown to have a buffering effect against stressful life events for this population. However, the ATG literature has failed to examine the experiences of Christians who also identify as sexual minorities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, pansexual, same-sex attracted, or another non-exclusively heterosexual identity). Sexual minority Christians (SMCs) experience unique minority stressors related to prejudice, discrimination, and stigma associated with their sexual identities, and this minority stress has negative implications for their mental health and well-being. The current study sought to examine whether ATG moderates the association between minority stress and mental health and well-being of SMCs. The anxiety dimension of ATG was found to be negatively associated with mental health and well-being, such that individuals whose attachment relationship with God was characterized with greater anxiety were found to report significantly worse mental health and well-being. However, contrary to our hypothesis, ATG did not moderate the relation between minority stress and mental health and well-being among SMCs.
Maughan, Adam David Anthony, "An Inconsistent God: Attachment to God and Minority Stress among Sexual Minority Christians. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2020.