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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
The present mixed-method research project aimed to examine the community connections of emerging adults with LGBQ+ parents as well as how these connections may mitigate associations between stigmatization experienced throughout development because of having LGBQ+ parents and developmental outcomes in emerging adulthood. Study 1 used a qualitative approach to examine whether emerging adults with LGBQ+ parents (N = 15) formed a connection to the LGBTQ+ community and/or a community of others with LGBTQ+ parents as well as whether connections to these two communities served distinct functions. Participants were interviewed through using a semi-structured interview protocol that included sections such as family background, identities held by the participant, experiences of community, and how participants cope with experiences of stigmatization on the basis of their family structure. Results suggest that emerging adults with LGBQ+ parents form connections to both the LGBTQ+ community and to others with LGBTQ+ parents that vary in strength. Additionally, participants described these connections as serving both overlapping and distinct roles in their lives. Study 2 used a quantitative approach to examine whether these community connections moderated associations between interpersonal stigmatization (verbal harassment, physical harassment, microaggressions) and developmental outcomes (mental health, sexual identity development, and peer relationships). Emerging adults with LGBQ+ parents (N = 107) completed all measures through an anonymous online survey. Findings from Study 2 provided confirmatory quantitative evidence for the findings of Study 1 that those with LGBQ+ parents form connections to both the LGBTQ+ community and to others with LGBTQ+ parents that are related by independent. However, results from Study 2 provided mixed support for associations between stigmatization and developmental outcomes as well as for the hypothesis that such associations would be moderated by community connections. Potential areas for future directions that would clarify these mixed findings are discussed.
Cashen, Krystal K., "Stigmatization and Community Connections: Associations with Mental Health, Sexual Identity Development, and Peer Relationships in Emerging Adults with LGBQ+ Parents" (2020). Doctoral Dissertations. 2000.