Dual Impact: Outness and LGB Identity Formation on Mental Health

Sarah E. Feldman, A. Jordan Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conflicting literature exists for the relationship among outness, sexual minority identity formation, and mental health among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals. The present study examines the complex relationship among outness, identity, and mental health among 192 lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals collected from an online sample. The findings revealed that outness has a complex, dual impact on mental health. Specifically, outness was found to have both positive and negative consequences for mental health, with identity development accounting for the positive aspects of outness. Directions for future research and implications for clinicians are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-464
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • bisexual
  • gay
  • lesbian
  • mental health
  • outness
  • sexual identity development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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