Few studies have examined how changes in sexual identity impact trajectories of depressive symptoms and emotion regulation difficulties. The current study addresses this gap in the literature by examining these associations over a three-year period in a community sample of adolescents (N = 177; Mage = 12.56; SD = 0.60; nmale = 95). Multilevel modeling revealed that youth who consistently held sexual minority identities from early to middle adolescence—but not youth with inconsistent sexual identity—demonstrated increases in depressive symptoms and emotion regulation difficulties relative to their heterosexual peers. Findings suggest that treatments that bolster emotion regulation abilities and address depressive symptoms may be of particular benefit to youth with consistent sexual minority identities from early to middle adolescence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health