Academic Research Project - The effect of peer relations on depression in Homosexual adolescents

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Academic Research Project - The effect of peer relations on depression in Homosexual adolescents

  1. 1. Academic Research Project<br />Sean Peneyra<br />WRTG 3001<br />4/3/2011<br />The effect of peer relations on depression in Homosexual adolescents<br />
  2. 2. Rhetorical analysis<br />
  3. 3. Journal<br />
  4. 4. Journal of Research on Adolescence. This Journal is well known for its cross examination of family cultural values and adolescent development. This article will follow these guidelines and show how belonging to a sexual minority affects adolescent development<br />
  5. 5. Author<br />
  6. 6. Research<br />Lisa Diamond’s main area of focus is the development of same-sex sexuality and how relationships and emotional bonds are formed. Her main research method is interviews and controlled psychophysiological experiments. <br />
  7. 7. Education<br />She obtained her Graduate Degree in 1993 at University of Chicago in Psychology and her PhD in 1999 at Cornell University in Human Development. Both of these were obtained in the 90s, at the height of acceptance and research of non-normative sexual behavior.<br />
  8. 8. Purpose<br />
  9. 9. This article is meant to provide original research to expand the database of information on sexual minority adolescent development. It is written to provide commentary on the previous research in this area and steer the research towards how sexual minorities are comparative to their sexual normative counterparts.<br />
  10. 10. Introduction<br />
  11. 11. Topic<br />
  12. 12. What we know about the development of depression in sexual-minority adolescents and what types of research contributes to this knowledge<br />
  13. 13. Motivation<br />
  14. 14. Research in the psychological health of homosexuals has consistently found that homosexuals are more likely to be suicidal and have forms of depression. But where does this increase come from?<br />
  15. 15. What I hope to find<br />
  16. 16. Questions to answer:<br />Where does this mental instability come from?<br />Does every one in the academic community agree?<br />If these differences exist, then where do the similarities between heterosexual and homosexual lie?<br />
  17. 17. What we are measuring<br />
  18. 18. Psychological stability  lots of friends you can trust<br />By measuring qualities of subjects’ friendships, we see the effects of depression in their day to day lives<br />
  19. 19. What we know going in<br />
  20. 20. Defining Homosexuality<br />Throughout this presentation: Homosexuality is anyone who does not identify as Heterosexual<br />-According to the study by Diamond and Lucas, all sexual-minorities experience the same adolescent psychological stress.<br />-Heterosexual is anyone who is exclusively attracted to the opposite sex<br />International symbol for Homosexuality<br />
  21. 21. Friends are important<br />They replace parents in giving: <br />advice<br />companionship<br />loyalty<br />emotional support<br />Peer Pressure flowchart from<br />http://ranahia.glogster.com/<br />
  22. 22. The difference in Homosexuals<br />They may replace peer groups more readily for fear of parental rejection<br />They fear that their highly valued peer groups may reject them if their sexuality is exposed<br />May hold peers at arms length for fear of developing less-than-platonic feelings towards friends<br />Romantic relationships are stunted by existing stereotypes about the promiscuity of homosexuals<br />From cartoonstock.com<br />It boils down to: Fear of losing those that are close to them because of their sexuality.<br />
  23. 23. One equalizing factor: The Closet<br />Adolescents who are out of the closet may have better ideas of how peers will react to their same-sex attraction<br />This will lead to more security in peer groups and better selection of accepting friends<br />
  24. 24. Diamond and Lucas’s research<br />
  25. 25. Hypotheses<br />
  26. 26. Hypothesis 1.<br />Sexual minorities will have higher perceived stress and lower self esteem<br />
  27. 27. Hypothesis 2.<br />Sexual minorities will have fewer friends and more insecurities despite having higher proportions of close friends<br />
  28. 28. Hypothesis 3.<br />Youth in the closet will have the least normative peer group trends, older adolescents out of the closet will most resemble their heterosexual peers<br />
  29. 29. Defined Parameters<br />
  30. 30.
  31. 31.
  32. 32. Results and Discussion<br />All of the results can be summed up in one chart that identifies correlations between each of the measured parameters:<br />
  33. 33.
  34. 34. What does this chart even say? <br />Wow that’s a lot of numbers… What do they have to do with our hypotheses?<br />
  35. 35. Hypothesis 1.<br />Sexual identity was seen to increase:<br />Levels of Depression<br />Anxiety<br />Physical symptoms of stress<br />Sexual identity was not seen to effect:<br />Self Esteem<br />perceived stress <br />Mastery<br />This shows that the first hypothesis only partially supported by the findings.<br />
  36. 36. Hypothesis 2.<br />Sexual identity was seen to effect:<br />Proportion of close friends to acquaintances<br />Number of friends lost<br />Worries over losing friends<br />It was not seen to effect:<br />Peer network size<br />Number of close friends<br />Connectedness to friends<br />Again, only partial support for this hypothesis was found<br />
  37. 37. Hypothesis 3.<br />The study sample was divided into three groups for comparison: Heterosexuals (H), Out Homosexuals (O) and Closeted Homosexuals (C)<br />Significant trends were found in<br />Peer network size – H=O>C (where this indicates heterosexuals had the same sized peer networks as out homosexuals, and both were greater than closeted homosexuals)<br />Proportion of Close friends – O>C=H<br />Friendship fears – O>C=H<br />Friendship loss – O>C=H<br />Thus almost no support was found for Hypothesis 3.<br />
  38. 38. Other Interesting Trends<br />
  39. 39. Male homosexuals knew they belonged to the sexual minority on average 2 years before female counterparts<br />
  40. 40. Only young male homosexuals had considerably smaller peer networks than their heterosexual counterparts<br />
  41. 41. Older homosexuals had the greatest proportion of inner-circle friendships than any other demographic tested<br />
  42. 42. What this study reinforces<br />Discussion<br />
  43. 43. Youth’s sexuality -> lowered experiences and expectations -> depression, anxiety and other physical stress symptoms<br />
  44. 44. Stresses and anxieties about relationships and peer networks are not exclusive to Homosexuals<br />
  45. 45. What this study changes<br />
  46. 46. Views Held Before – Dire psychological differences between Sexual Minorities and heterosexual youths<br />From This study – Peer networks perceived stress, self esteem are all unaffected by one’s sexuality<br />Although kids of sexual minorities are picked on, they don’t value themselves any less.<br />
  47. 47. Views Held Before – All sexual minority adolescents have smaller peer groups and higher proportions of close friends<br />From This study – Age plays a large role in the effects of sexuality on peer groups. Older sexual minorities have healthier peer networks than their heterosexual counterparts<br />Future studies will have to pick out why there is the shift with age.<br />
  48. 48. Views Held Before – Out sexual minorities would have healthier peer networks<br />From This study – Out Sexual minorities had larger <br />proportion of close friends <br />friend networks<br /> but greater<br />Number of friend losses<br />Friendship insecurities<br />Openness about ones sexuality is neither uniformly positive or negative.<br />
  49. 49. Why does this matter?<br />Conclusion<br />
  50. 50. Developmental psychologists have attempted to identify differences between heterosexual and homosexual adolescent experiences. But they have done so by primarily examining negative psychological effects of peer victimization and stigmatization. This paper opens the door to examine more ordinary differences in homosexual and heterosexual adolescent experiences.<br />
  51. 51. Bibliography<br />Diamond, L.M., & Lucas, S. (2004). Sexual-Minority and Heterosexual Youths’ Peer Relationships: Experiences, Expectations, and Implications for Well-Being. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 14(3), 313-340.<br />Background art provided by Felibree on deviantart.com<br />

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