Quynh N. Tran, Psy.D., is a 2022 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Kathi Borden, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Katherine Evarts, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Barbara Belcher-Timme, PsyD, Committee Member


minority stress, shame, relationships, LGBA, sexual minority

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This dissertation aimed to better understand sexual minority individuals’ perceptions of how various minority stressors affect their interpersonal connections. In this study, sexual minority identity was defined as a sexual identity that was not the heterosexual, and was defined to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, and queer. Gender identity was not a criterion for either inclusion or exclusion in this study. This phenomenological study used semistructured interviews to explore the perspective of six participants who identify with sexual minority identities. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of the data resulted in five main themes: (a) Growth-fostering relationships promote well-being, (b) Perceived belongingness is a prerequisite to meaningful connection, (c) Participants experience different forms of discrimination, (d) Shame fosters disconnection, and (e) Despite challenges, participants draw from sources of resilience. Implications, limitations, and future research suggestions are explored.


Quynh Tran

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-0561-9086