CINCINNATI — Lesbian and gay youth showed significantly less psychological distress and were buffered against the negative effects of bullying and victimization when they were in a relationship than when they were not, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study conducted in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati.
The finding is particularly important because prior research has not found a protective effect like this for support from parents and friends.
While the benefits of being in romantic relationships to mental health is well documented in adults, limited research has been conducted on the association between dating relationships and mental health in young people. Even fewer researchers have examined the potential stress-buffering effects of romantic involvement for sexual minority groups.
The paper, dubbed “Romantic Involvement: a Protective Factor for Psychological Health in Racially Diverse Young Sexual Minorities” was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology on Feb. 1.