Date of Conferral
The original purpose of this quantitative study was to compare 5 self-reported sexual minority stress (SMS) factors experienced by lesbian and gay police officers to discover if lesbian or gay police officers experience more SMS, and which factor, if any, is the biggest stressor for either group as measured using subscales of the Daily Heterosexist Experiences Questionnaire (DHEQ). This study partially incorporated minority-stress theory as applied to sexual minorities. This study used subscales from the DHEQ in anonymous, online surveys. Because of the low response rate, the study changed to compare the group of lesbian and gay police officers' self-reports on levels of feelings of vigilance, harassment/discrimination, isolation, vicarious trauma, and victimization as compared to the established population values. The central research question asked if there was a significant difference between lesbian and gay police officers and the established population on self-reported factors of SMS, as measured by the DHEQ. Two-tailed t tests were used to analyze the data. The results showed that lesbian and gay officers reported significantly less SMS as determined by the 5 factors on the DHEQ. The results of this study could provide an impact on how administrators treat lesbian and gay officers and how LGBT policies are created and implemented for internal and external (e.g. LGBT communities) interactions. The results of this study could also provide insight for police psychologists and other mental health practitioners about SMS.