Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Chelsea D. Williams


Despite the increased risk of childhood, adulthood, and lifetime interpersonal trauma among LGBQ+ individuals, existing research that has examined the influence of interpersonal trauma on mental health has primarily focused on LGBQ+ adolescents and samples of LGBQ+ community-based adults, and less on LGBQ+ emerging adults in college. Additionally, limited work has focused on mechanisms that might explain the relations between these variables. Thus, the current study tested the relations between interpersonal trauma (i.e., childhood sexual abuse, adulthood sexual victimization, and lifetime physical assault and IPV) and mental health outcomes (i.e., anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and PTSD symptoms), and examined social support and trauma-related drinking as mediators of these associations among LGBQ+ college students. Participants included 179 LGBQ+ college students (M = 19.48, SD = 0.74) who completed measures of interpersonal trauma, social support, trauma-related drinking, and mental health. Results indicated that each form of interpersonal trauma, except intimate partner violence, was related to at least one mental health symptom. Additionally, trauma-related drinking mediated the relations between adulthood sexual victimization and anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and PTSD symptoms. Similarly, social support partially mediated the association between lifetime physical assault and PTSD symptoms. Findings have research and intervention implications by highlighting the ways that interpersonal trauma and social/ coping processes affect LGBQ+ college students’ mental health.


© Eryn DeLaney

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VCU University Archives

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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission