Dimensions of lesbian identity during adolescence and young adulthood

Stephanie K. Swann, Jeane W. Anastas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As knowledge about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people continues to mature, social work research must address the complexity of key issues, including sexual identity. The present study examined dimensions of sexual identity among young women who identify as questioning or lesbian, and it illustrates the progress being made in conceptualization and measurement in this area. Three distinct dimensions of lesbian identity were found: "New Identity Possibilities," "Consolidation and Fulfillment," and "Stigma and Mistreatment Management." For these young women, individual and social dimensions of identity development were not distinct as had been previously hypothesized. These findings are discussed in relation to theory and future research that attends to the intersection of gender, age, and sexual identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch Methods with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780203057155
StatePublished - 2012


  • Factor analysis
  • Identity development
  • Lesbian
  • Measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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