Sexual Minority Stress, Coping, and Physical Health Indicators

  • Delphia J. Flenar
  • Carolyn M. Tucker
  • Jaime L. WilliamsEmail author


Sexual minorities experience higher rates of several physical health problems compared to their heterosexual counterparts. The present study uses Meyer's Minority Stress Model (Psychological Bulletin, 129(5): 674-697, 2003) to examine physical health indicators among 250 adults who identified as sexual minorities. Study hypotheses include that sexual minority stress is predictive of two physical health indicators (i.e., engagement in a health-promoting lifestyle and number of physical health problems) and that planning (i.e., problem-focused) and social support coping will partially mediate the relationship between sexual minority stress and each physical health indicator. Results showed that as level of sexual minority stress increased, engagement in a health-promoting lifestyle decreased and the number of physical health problems increased. Planning and social support coping did not mediate these relationships; however, as levels of coping increased, engagement in a health-promoting lifestyle increased. These findings have implications for researchers and healthcare professionals in their efforts to promote the physical health of sexual minorities.


Sexual minority stress LGBT health Health-promoting lifestyle Social support coping Problem-focused coping 



We thank the Health Psychology Research Team at the University of Florida for their assistance with this research.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Delphia J. Flenar, Carolyn M. Tucker, and Jaime L. Williams declared that they have no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were done in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Florida and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all study participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Delphia J. Flenar
    • 1
  • Carolyn M. Tucker
    • 1
  • Jaime L. Williams
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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