The mediating role of Identity Integration and Basic Psychological Needs in the Relationship between Sexual Orientation and Mental Health.
Leij, E.J. van der
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Past research from the perspective of the Minority Stress Model shows that non-heterosexuals are at greater risk for the development of mental health problems because of minority related stressors, such as internalized homophobia, the introjection of negative societal attitudes about sexual minorities. From the perspective of the Self-Determination Theory, such introjection leads to basic psychological need frustration, hampering the natural process of identity integration. Difficulties in the integration of the identity could lead to internalizing metal health problems, like depression. Integrating both perspectives, this cross-sectional study in a sample of 178 participants (24.2% male, 71.3% female, 4.5 % other, mean age = 35.6) shows that the relation between sexual orientation and depression is mediated by identity integration and basic psychological need frustration and that the relationship between sexual orientation and self-esteem is mediated by identity integration and basic psychological need satisfaction. These findings implicate the importance of incorporating identity integration is the treatment of depression among members of the LGBTQ+ community.