Honors Program

Fine and Performing Arts Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Dr. Stacey Williams

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

Dr. Matthew McBee, Dr. Scott Contreras-Koterbay



In this study, we examined potential protective factors against depression in the LGBTQ+ community by determining whether outness, self-esteem, perceived social support, life meaning, courage to challenge or resilience/hardiness, life satisfaction, and hope were correlated with less depression. There were 149 participants in the study, 38 of whom identified as members of the LGBTQ+ community, and 107 of whom identified as heterosexual. Participants completed an online survey that took approximately 30 minutes. It was predicted that protective factors would be negatively related to depression. Results of both correlation and regression analyses revealed no significant relations between protective factors and depression. In a post-hoc analysis, the correlations between these factors in the heterosexual participants were statistically significant. Protective factors may be less prevalent or less directly helpful in the LGBTQ+ minority community than they are in the heterosexual majority. In addition, LGBTQ+ participants reported significantly higher levels of depression than the heterosexual participants. Thus, these findings indicate that there are significantly less protective factors present in the lives of LGBTQ+ persons than there are in their heterosexual counterparts.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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