Date of Conferral







Magy Martin


Researchers have taken considerable interest in the relationship between religious stress in childhood and substance use disorders in adulthood among sexual minorities because more individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, and bi/pansexual have a substance use disorder compared to heterosexuals. However, researchers have not yet completed an integrated analysis of religious stress, mental health, and age of awareness among sexual minorities. This study was important now because the societal climate has shifted to more extremes of intolerance and less acceptance for sexual minorities. The purpose of this study was to examine religious stress as a predictor variable for substance use disorders among sexual minorities using age of awareness as the covariate. Bowlby’s attachment theory provided a foundation for the study. The Religious, Spiritual, and Sexual Identities Questionnaire, its subscale Total Control, and the Short Michigan Alcohol Screening Test were used in a web-based survey to examine the variables age of awareness, religious stress, and substance use disorders. A sample of 105 self-selected participants who identified as lesbian, gay, or bi/pansexual completed the survey. Data were analyzed using correlational analysis and multiple regression. The results indicated that there was no significant correlation between the variables. This study contributes to the existing literature, social change, and provides a basis of understanding for mental health professionals to aid in their practice with sexual minorities who might have experienced religious stress. Clinicians may be able to help their sexual minority clients to validate their experience of religious stress, which may directly impact their worth, dignity, and personal development and improve their overall quality of life.