Prospective effects of resilience on mental health among sexual and gender minority young people

Charlie Giraud*, Michael E. Newcomb, Sarah W. Whitton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals who are assigned-female-at-birth (i.e. sexual minority women, transgender men, and gender diverse individuals [SMWTGD]) experience an increased risk for negative mental health outcomes due to minority stress related to their minoritized identity. One proposed protective factor against negative mental health outcomes is resilience, which is one’s ability to effectively achieve positive outcomes following stressful events. Past research shows cross-sectional associations between resilience and mental health in both the general population and SGM individuals. However, we know of no longitudinal research testing whether resilience prospectively predicts mental health, or whether the prospective associations between resilience and mental health differ by demographics. Self-reports of resilience, depression, anxiety, suicidality, and substance use were collected at two time-points 6 months apart from 453 SMWTGD late adolescents and young adults who reside in the Midwest region of the United States. Time 1 resilience was negatively associated with Time 2 depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation, but not problematic substance use, controlling for Time 1 mental health. These associations were generally not moderated by demographic factors, suggesting that resilience operates consistently across most racial, sexual orientation, and gender identities within the SMWTGD community. These findings underscore the potential value of tailored interventions aimed at promoting resilience within SMWTGD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology and Sexuality
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • longitudinal
  • mental health
  • prospective
  • resilience
  • Sexual and gender minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology

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