Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 43, Issue 8, pp 1579–1588 | Cite as

Sexual Attraction and Psychological Adjustment in Dutch Adolescents: Coping Style as a Mediator

Original Paper


This study examined whether feelings of same-sex attraction (SSA) in 12- to 15-year-old Dutch adolescents were related to psychological health (self-esteem and psychological distress) and whether this relation was mediated by coping styles and moderated by biological sex. Data were collected from 1,546 high school students (802 boys and 744 girls; M age = 13.57 years) by means of standardized measurements. SSA was found to predict lower levels of self-esteem and higher levels of psychological distress. Further analyses showed that passive coping style partly mediated these associations. This mediation was not moderated by biological sex. The findings suggest that in understanding and addressing mental health disparities between sexual minorities and heterosexual youth attention should be paid to intrapersonal psychological factors such as coping styles.


Same-sex attraction Sexual orientation Coping Psychological adjustment Adolescents 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henny Bos
    • 1
  • Gabriël van Beusekom
    • 1
  • Theo Sandfort
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Research Institute of Child Development and Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Division of Gender, Sexuality, and HealthNew York Psychiatric InstituteNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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