Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1-13-2017

Journal / Book Title

Journal of LGBT Youth


This exploratory study used grounded theory to understand the role of minority stress on the first-year experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and questioning emerging adults attending a university in the Northeastern part of the United States. Twenty-one lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and questioning sophomores participated in focus groups asking them to reflect on their first year of university. Themes suggest that participants tackle multiple challenges simultaneously: the developmental task of increased independence and stressors specific to lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and questioning adults such as encountering stigma. Furthermore, participants manifested resilience in response to minority stress. Participants joined campus organizations, expressed pride in their identities, made use of social supports, and sought out safe opportunities to disclose. The discussion concludes with implications for practice and policy.


Published Citation

Alessi, Edward J., Beth Sapiro, Sarilee Kahn, and Shelley L. Craig. "The first-year university experience for sexual minority students: A grounded theory exploration." Journal of LGBT Youth 14, no. 1 (2017): 71-92.