Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 39, Issue 10, pp 1199–1210 | Cite as

Acculturation Strategies and Mental Health in Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth

  • Nele CoxEmail author
  • Wim Vanden Berghe
  • Alexis Dewaele
  • John Vincke
Empirical Research


In this article, we examine the impact of acculturation strategies on minority stress and mental health in lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) youth in Flanders, Belgium. Building on previous identity minority studies and on the social stress model, we investigate how LGB youth acculturate within both the LGB subculture and mainstream society and how this correlates with their mental health. Our sample is taken from an online survey and represents 561 LGB youth aged 14 through 21. The four traditional acculturation strategies are represented in this population (integration, separation, marginalization, assimilation). Bisexual boys are mostly absent from separation and integration strategies; gay and lesbian youth in middle adolescence are significantly more represented in the separation strategy compared to their late adolescence counterparts. Further, our findings suggest the relevance of identification with the LGB community, especially for internalized negative attitudes toward homosexuality. LGB youth who identify with the LGB community score significantly lower on this internalized homonegativity.


LGB youth Acculturation Minority stress Mental health 



We dedicate this article to our beloved friend and colleague Prof. John Vincke. We will remember him as a passionate researcher and a truly exceptional human being.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nele Cox
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wim Vanden Berghe
    • 1
  • Alexis Dewaele
    • 2
  • John Vincke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Policy Research Centre on Equal OpportunitiesUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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