College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-20-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Megan Greeson, PhD

Second Advisor

Anne Saw, PhD

Third Advisor

Molly Brown, PhD


Despite legal and social progress, the LGBTQ+ community faces persistent vulnerability to different forms of violence and negative life experiences, including adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and bigotry motivated violence, as well as gender-based violence (GBV). Consistent with the Minority Stress Model, exposure to these experiences are associated with negative mental health outcomes for LGBTQ+ individuals. Traditionally, research has focused on subpopulations when examining these relationships, and has often failed to account for the ways individuals experience multiple types of violence across the lifespan, and how this may influence development of mental health problems. This study (n=204) uses the Minority Stress Model to explore how different profiles of violence exposure may relate to mental health outcomes among LGBTQ+ survivors in Illinois. Using a latent class analysis, four classes emerged: Low Adult Exposure, Low Overall Exposure, High Adult GBV (gender-based violence), and High Overall Exposure. Results of a 3-step regression indicated that when controlling for racial/ethnic minority status, gender minority status, bigotry motivated violence exposure, adaptive coping, and maladaptive coping, class membership did not significantly predict depression scores, but did significantly predict PTSD scores. Notably, the class with Lower Overall Exposure had significantly lower PTSD scores when compared to the Lower Adult Exposure class, as well as the High Adult GBV class. The Lower Overall Exposure class also demonstrated significantly lower depression scores compared to the High Adult GBV class. Implications of these findings are discussed.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons