Disclosure Stress, Social Support, and Depressive Symptoms Among Cisgender Bisexual Youth

Amanda M. Pollitt, Joel A. Muraco, Arnold H. Grossman, Stephen T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Bisexual youth are at elevated risk for depression when compared with lesbians and gay men. Research on bisexual stigma suggests that these youth are uniquely vulnerable to stress related to sexual identity disclosure. Depression associated with this stress may be buffered by social support from parents and friends. We examined the differential influence of social support from parents and friends (Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale) on the relation between disclosure stress (LGBTQ Coming Out Stress Scale) and depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory) and differences by gender in a sample of cisgender bisexual youth (N = 383) using structural equation modeling. Parental support buffered the association between stressful disclosure to family and depressive symptoms, especially for bisexual men; bisexual women seemed not to benefit from such support when disclosure stress was high. This nuanced examination elucidates the ways family members and clinicians can best support bisexual youth sexual identity disclosure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1278-1294
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • and transgender
  • bisexual
  • coping
  • depression
  • gay
  • lesbian
  • resiliency
  • youth/emergent adulthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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