Date of Award

Spring 4-25-2019

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Psychological Science

Department Chair or Program Director

McBride, Christine

First Advisor

Mackintosh, Virginia

Second Advisor

Wilson, Laura

Third Advisor

Erchull, Mindy

Major or Concentration



Members of the LGBT+ community are at a higher risk for mental health concerns like depression, not because an LGBT+ identity is inherently a mental illness but, because LGBT+ people have more stressful experiences due to their minority status. The minority stress model illustrates how discrimination affects the mental health of individuals who are part of socially marginalized groups. In regard to LGBT+ college/university students, experiences of discrimination may be unique to their campus. Within this study, LGBT+ college students from three institutions in Virginia were surveyed regarding their perceptions of campus climate, experiences of minority stress, and depression symptomatology. A more positive perception of campus climate predicted lower minority stress scores. Lower minority stress predicted lower depression symptoms. However, there were no indirect effects of campus climate on depression symptoms. These findings indicate that LGBT+ college students are facing minority stress and depression symptoms, and that campus climate affects experiences of minority stress, but it is unclear how campus climate relates to depression symptoms. More research is needed to investigate this potential relationship further.

Included in

Psychology Commons