BETHESDA, Md. — Lesbian moms raising children under the age of 18 are less depressed when they have outside support researchers have found.
Results of a 2011 study are in and researchers at the National Institutes of Health say general stress is the most significant kind of stress facing self-identified lesbian mothers.
Participants completed an anonymous online survey between May and December 2011. Researchers examined the relationship the moms experienced between symptoms of depression and three areas — social support, minority stress and general stress.
Each had a “significantly positive relationship to depressive symptoms,” they found, but general stress was the most significant factor. Through social support, lesbian mothers were able to “fully mediate” the link between minority stress and depressive symptoms.
Researchers wanted to find out if higher levels of social support made a difference. They hypothesized that it would.
The study also provides support for the development of intervention strategies to decrease general stress and increase social support, the researchers said.