Relationship Trajectories and Psychological Well-Being Among Sexual Minority Youth

José A. Bauermeister, Michelle Marie Johns, Theo G M Sandfort, Anna Eisenberg, Arnold H. Grossman, Anthony R. D'Augelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Dating in adolescence plays an integral part in the development of sexual and social identities. This process is particularly salient for sexual minority youth who face additional obstacles to their identity formation due to their marginalized status. We investigated the influence of participating in a same-sex relationship (SSR) or an opposite-sex relationship (OSR) on sexual minority youths' psychological well-being (i.e., symptoms of depression, anxiety and internalized homophobia, and self-esteem) in an ethnically-diverse sample of 350 youth (55% male) between the ages of 15-19 years, recruited from three GLBT drop-in centers in the New York City area. Using longitudinal data, we examined youths' SSR and OSR over time. Multivariate regression analyses suggest that involvement in a SSR was positively associated with changes in self-esteem in males, and negatively correlated with changes in internalized homophobia in females. We discuss the implications for positive development in sexual minority adolescent populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1148-1163
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jun 10 2010



  • Adolescence
  • Dating
  • Gay, lesbian and bisexual
  • Mental health
  • Sexual minority
  • Sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Bauermeister, J. A., Johns, M. M., Sandfort, T. G. M., Eisenberg, A., Grossman, A. H., & D'Augelli, A. R. (2010). Relationship Trajectories and Psychological Well-Being Among Sexual Minority Youth. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(10), 1148-1163.