Journal of Applied Social Psychology

Skip to Search

Skip to Navigation

Volume 29 Issue 6 (June 1999), Pages 1111-1331

Gay Identity and the Experience of Gay Social Stress (pages 1316-1331)

The hypothesis that identity commitment affects the experience of identity‐related stressors brings identity theory and social stress research together. Research findings are not yet conclusive regarding this hypothesis. Part of the contradictory research findings stem from inadequate knowledge about the causal direction of the relationship between depression and commitment. The authors analyze if identity commitment interacts with social stress in its impact on mental well‐being. Only chronic stress has a moderate impact on the experience of depression. Commitment toward the gay identity did not buffer the experience of stress. The authors also use a nonrecursive model to establish the causal relationship between depression and commitment. They show that it is depression that lowers identity commitment. It is concluded that identity commitment cannot act as a buffer against identity‐related stress because commitment is affected by the resulting distress.

Add This link

Bookmark and Share>