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ERIC Number: EJ1064178
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-1938-8926
Protective Factors, Campus Climate, and Health Outcomes among Sexual Minority College Students
Woodford, Michael R.; Kulick, Alex; Atteberry, Brittanie
Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, v8 n2 p73-87 Jun 2015
Heterosexism on campus can create a chilly climate for sexual minority students. Research has documented the negative impacts of campus climate on sexual minority students' health; however, little research has examined the role of potential protective factors among this population. Drawing on data collected from self-identified sexual minority students as part of a larger campus climate study, we examine the relationship between heterosexism on campus (experiential and psychological) and mental health (depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse) and negative physical health symptoms. To explore potential protective factors, we investigate the role of individual-level (self-esteem and physical exercise) and interpersonal-level (LGB friends and instructor relations) variables on the climate-mental/physical health relationships. Our findings suggest that experiencing heterosexist harassment, but not perceived attitudes toward sexual minorities, is a risk factor for all 4 outcomes. Further, exercise moderated the impacts of heterosexist harassment on depression and anxiety, self-esteem and LGB friends moderated the impacts of heterosexist harassment on risk for alcohol abuse, and instructor relations moderated the relationship between heterosexist harassment and negative physical health symptoms. Practitioners and researchers should consider the specific buffering impacts of protective factors on health outcomes among sexual minority students.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Brief Symptom Inventory; Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale