Martin-Storey A, Benner AD. (2023). Real and assumed sexual minority status: Longitudinal associations with depressive symptoms. Journal of Research on Adolescence. 33(2), 404-417.
Sexual minority status persists in being linked to poorer adolescent mental health. Using a longitudinal sample (N = 845), we examined how youth’s own same-gender attraction and their perceptions of peers’ beliefs about their same-gender attraction (i.e., assumed attraction) were associated with trajectories of depressive symptoms from grade eight (when students are typically 13–14 years old) to grade 10. Reporting either same-gender attraction, assumed same-gender attraction or both were associated with higher initial levels of depressive symptoms that persisted over time compared to youth with real and assumed other-gender attraction only. These links were partially mediated by experiences of discrimination. Findings suggest the importance of understanding adolescent perceptions of peer beliefs in the association between same-gender attraction and depressive symptoms.