Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

School Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Greg R. Machek

Commitee Members

Cameo Borntrager, Annie Sondag


attributions, bisexual, depression, explanatory style, gay, lesbian, LGBT, questioning, resilience, transgender, victimization


University of Montana


Comprised of the attributions one makes about negative life events, explanatory style (ES) can be conceptualized as either negative (attributing adverse events as due to internal, global, and stable causes) or positive (attributing events to external, specific, and transient causes). A negative ES has been associated with higher levels of depression, whereas a positive ES may provide resilience from depression, as shown in previous research on the general population. However, research on ES has yet to extend to a sexual minority population. Sexual minority adolescents report higher levels of depressive symptoms than do their heterosexual peers, likely due to the increased levels of victimization they experience. The current study sampled 243 LGBT individuals between the ages of 18-22 from across the United States via an electronic survey. Participants were given measures assessing victimization, ES, and depression, in an attempt to investigate the relationships between the variables. It was hypothesized that level of victimization would predict level of depression. Additionally, it was predicted that a positive ES would lessen the relationship between victimization and depression. Results supported the first hypothesis; victimization significantly predicted depression. The second hypothesis was partially supported. A positive ES appeared to act as a protective factor in low and medium levels of self-reported victimization. However, when participants reported high levels of victimization, the differences between explanatory styles failed to be significant. Implications include various school-wide intervention strategies aimed at decreasing at-school victimization, as well as cognitive restructuring interventions infused with education regarding homophobic oppression.



© Copyright 2012 Lauri Mae Lindquist