Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

School Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Greg R. Machek

Commitee Members

Bryan N. Cochran, Anisa N. Goforth, John Sommers-Flanagan, Cameo Stanick


University of Montana


Researchers have reported that being proud and open about one’s sexual and/or gender identity is related to fewer negative psychological outcomes. However, this process of identity development is often impeded by environmental factors, such as minority stress. Through his minority stress hypothesis, Meyer (2003) suggests that suggests that living in a society that is intolerant of central features of the self (e.g., sexual orientation and gender identity) increases the level of stress in individuals with minority statuses. These environmental stressors are consistently shown by research to account for the disproportionate amount of negative psychological and academic outcomes experienced by sexual and gender minority individuals. In the current study, I examined whether various school supports (gay-straight student alliances, inclusive curricula, antidiscrimination policies, supportive school personnel, accepting peers, and safe zones) are associated with higher levels of identity integration, and less depression and anxiety. It also examines whether this protection includes academic outcomes as well, such as GPA, school belonging, and absenteeism. Participants were recruited online from across the United States from gay-straight student alliances at colleges and universities, and from community centers for sexual and gender minority individuals. Measures assessed high school experiences and current psychological functioning. Results indicated that identity integration is significantly correlated with depression and school belonging. They also showed that school supports significantly moderate the relationships between identity integration and absenteeism, and between identity integration and school belonging in female-identified students. Implications and future directions are discussed.



© Copyright 2016 Lauri Mae Lindquist