Pathways to Well-being among LGBT adults: Sociopolitical Involvement, Family Support, Outness, and Community Connectedness with Race/Ethnicity as a Moderator

Am J Community Psychol. 2021 Jun;67(3-4):405-418. doi: 10.1002/ajcp.12482. Epub 2020 Dec 16.


People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT) experience disparate levels of psychological distress due to marginalization, yet there are also opportunities for community connectedness and sociopolitical involvement in identify-specific issues and organizations, which may improve psychological well-being. This study contributes to intersectional research on LGBT psychological well-being by locating LGBT community connectedness as a mediator of the associations between well-being and (a) LGBT sociopolitical involvement and (b) being out as LGBT among a sample of predominately LGBT-identified adults in the United States and Puerto Rico (n = 4940) across four racial/ethnic identity groups: non-Hispanic Black, Latinx/Hispanic, non-Hispanic White, and other races/ethnicities. Analyses revealed that separate models were operating across racial/ethnic identity groups. Path analysis further showed that LGBT community connectedness mediated (either partially or fully) the effects of both LGBT sociopolitical involvement and outness on well-being. Direct effects on well-being were also found for family support across all groups and for outness only among the non-Hispanic White and other races/ethnicities groups. Community leaders and practitioners should seek to create opportunities for LGBT sociopolitical involvement and other activities that may facilitate feeling connected to LGBT community as part of efforts to promote LGBT well-being.

Keywords: Family support; Gender; Intersectionality; LGBT community connectedness; LGBT sociopolitical involvement; Outness; Race/ethnicity; Sexual orientation; Well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Homosexuality, Female*
  • Humans
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*
  • Transgender Persons*
  • United States