The Impact of Minority Stress on LGBTQ Individuals’ Intentions to Seek Help for Intimate Partner Violence




Calton, Jenna Marie

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals experience rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) that are equal to or higher than rates reported by cisgender and heterosexual individuals; however, they do not seek help for IPV as often as heterosexual/cisgender survivors and they face population-specific barriers to help-seeking, such as a fear of discrimination from help sources. Although it is clear barriers to help-seeking exist, researchers and advocates do not have a clear or nuanced understanding of how, in which contexts, and to what degree they operate. This dissertation presents two studies that investigate intentions to seek help for IPV in a sample of 317 LGBTQ people. Study one examined the types of sources LGBTQ individuals are most likely to seek help from if they experience IPV in the future. Results indicated that LGBTQ people are most likely to seek help from friends, mental health professionals, and LGBTQ resource centers if they experience IPV. Additionally, intentions to seek help differed significantly based on participants’ gender identity and IPV history. Study two investigated minority stress processes as barriers to help seeking for LGBTQ IPV from formal sources of support. Results indicated that discrimination and internalized homo/transphobia are barriers to seeking help from mental health professionals, but these minority stress processes did not act as barriers to seeking help from other formal sources of support. In addition, participants’ levels of outness did not serve as a barrier to seeking help from any of the formal sources of support.



Psychology, Clinical psychology, Help-seeking, Intimate partner violence, LGBTQ, Minority stress, Support, Violence