Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors




Ample research has been conducted on how heterosexuals distance themselves from gays and lesbians through lack of emotional attachment, job discrimination, and lack of familial support, yet there has been little research on how people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) view this distancing. To examine the distancing from the point of view of people in a GLBT sample we surveyed 200 GLBT people at the Annual Pride Not Prejudice celebration in Salt Lake City. Participants were asked how they viewed their relationship with their parents, and how they perceived their parents religiosity. Participants also completed the Beck Depression Inventory to examine the relationship of perceived social distancing to depression as an important mental health outcome. The present study examined the relationship between how a participant rated their parents' religiosity and perceived social distancing (PSD). PSD was positively correlated with extrinsic religiosity (r = .359, p < .01) and intrinsic religiosity (r = .239, p < .01 ). In addition to measuring PSD, a scale was created to measure self social distancing (SD), or the degree to which participants distanced themselves from their parents. SSD was significantly correlated with both extrinsic religiosity (r = .432, p < .01), and intrinsic religiosity (r = .368, p < .01). Both distancing constructs (PSD, SSD) were strongly positively correlated (r = .738, p < .001). Finally, this study sought to investigate the relationship between social distancing in a family unit and mental health in a sample from the GLBT population. Depression had a mild to moderate positive correlation with PSD (r = .225, p < .05), and SSD (r = .358, p < .01). Implications for these findings and others findings from this study will be discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons



Faculty Mentor

Melanie Domenech Rodríguez

Departmental Honors Advisor

Scott C. Bates