la Roi, Chaïm C., Kretschmer, T., Veenstra, R., Bos, H., Goossens, L., Verschueren, K., ... & Dijkstra, J. K. | 2020
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 66, 101086.
Sexual minority youth report poorer mental health than heterosexual youth. According to the minority stress framework, this results from sexual minority individuals being societally marginalized, which for sexual minority youth may include being poorly integrated in the peer context. A sociometric approach was used to test whether peer relationships, measured broadly as friendship, acceptance, disliking, and bullying relationships, mediated the link between a sexual minority orientation and depressive symptoms in adolescence. Analyses were conducted across three samples from the Netherlands and Belgium (N = 352; N = 1848; N = 263). Sexual minority respondents reported higher levels of depressive symptoms than heterosexual respondents, yet sexual orientation differences in peer relationships were small. Moreover, no link between peer relationships and depressive symptoms was found. Consequently, indirect effects were small too.