Date of Graduation

Summer 8-7-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

Dhara Meghani, PhD

Second Advisor

Michelle Montagno, PsyD

Third Advisor

John Pérez, PhD


The present study investigated the association between four minority stress processes (victimization, internalized heterosexism, rejection sensitivity, and disclosure of sexual orientation identity) and symptoms of depression and anxiety among lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, pansexual, or otherwise non-heterosexual (LGBQP+) disaffiliates from non-affirming religions, and whether social support mediated these relationships. A nonexperimental, cross-sectional, correlational design was used. Participants were recruited through Reddit, a popular social-networking site, and completed an online survey that assessed experiences of minority stress, perceptions of social support, and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Participants were 161 non-religious, US-born, cisgender, LGBQP+ Reddit-users who identified as having disaffiliated from a religion that held rejecting views of same-sex sexuality. Path analysis was used to test the hypotheses. The final model was found to be a good fit for the data: chi square(12) = 11.19, p = .512, comparative fit index = .994, root-mean-square-error of approximation = .028, Tucker-Lewis index = .966. Internalized heterosexism and rejection sensitivity were independently associated with higher levels of anxious symptomatology. Family social support was associated with lower levels of depressive symptomatology. Female gender identity, fewer years of education, and a past or current diagnosed mental health disability or impairment were associated with higher depressive and anxious symptomatology. When working with LGBQP+ disaffiliates and their families, mental health professionals should employ LGB-affirmative treatment, consider minority stress processes when developing interventions to target symptoms of anxiety, and encourage social support from family members if clinically appropriate to help address depressive symptoms.