The moderating effects of educational level, religion and socialsupport on the association between sexual orientation and mental health among Dutch adolescents
Melick, Tess Van
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Adolescents with a different sexual preference than heterosexual (non-heterosexuals) are known to report higher emotional problems. However, not much is known on how sexual orientation is associated with conduct problems and hyperactivity in adolescents. Therefore, this study focused on examining the association between sexual orientation and emotional problems, conduct problems and hyperactivity and the extent to which educational level, religiosity and social support can moderate this association.Hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses were performed to examine the data of the cross-sectional Dutch HBSC data from 2013 and 2017 (N = 11,960; Mage = 14 years). Nonheterosexuals were found to report significantly higher levels of all outcomes than heterosexual adolescents. Few interaction effects were found. Those that were found significant did not support the hypothesis that differences between non-heterosexuals and heterosexuals on mental health problems were bigger the lower the educational level, but did partly support the hypothesis of social support at home. This study supports the expectation that even in a tolerant society as the Netherlands, nonheterosexual adolescents still score higher on emotional problems, conduct problems and hyperactivity than their heterosexual peers. Overall this association seemed largely similar across level of education, religiosity and support at home and from friends.