Rumination Longitudinally Mediates the Association of Minority Stress and Depression in Sexual and Gender Minority Individuals

Elissa L. Sarno*, Michael E. Newcomb, Brian Mustanski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Minority stress theory describes the excess stressors to which individuals from stigmatized groups are exposed as a result of their marginalized status(es), which can contribute to higher rates of depression among sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals. The psychological mediation framework expanded on minority stress theory by proposing that rumination may link minority stressors to depression. Although previous studies have shown that rumination mediates associations between minority stressors and psychological distress among SGM individuals, many have done so using cross-sectional data, despite mediation being a process that occurs over time. To address this limitation, the present longitudinal study examined rumination as a mediator of the associations of three minority stressors (i.e., victimization, microaggressions, and internalized stigma) with depressive symptoms among 1,130 young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and young transgender women (YTW). The data were taken from baseline, 6-month, and 1-year assessments from a large cohort of YMSM and YTW. Consistent with hypotheses, rumination at 6-month follow-up fully longitudinally mediated associations between victimization, microaggressions, and internalized stigma at baseline and depression at 1-year follow-up. Results suggest that rumination is an important area of intervention for clinicians treating SGM individuals who experience symptoms of depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Depression
  • Gender minority
  • Minority stress
  • Rumination
  • Sexual minority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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