This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Social Anxiety in Sexual Minority Individuals: The Role of Hypervigilance




Gebhardt, Eli

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Psychological Sciences


The current study aimed to investigate the associations between hypervigilance and social anxiety disorder (SA) in sexual minority (SM) individuals, as well as the role of gay, lesbian, bisexual, or other non-heterosexual identities (LGBTQ+) discrimination as a moderator of this association. Data from 392 SM individuals were obtained from a larger online study that examined the impact of minority stressors on health behaviors among a diverse sample of SM adults. Participants completed measures of hypervigilance, SA, and LGBTQ+ discrimination at baseline and 1-month follow-up. Cross-sectional findings revealed hypervigilance and age were both significantly associated with SA symptoms at baseline. However, hypervigilance did not significantly predict SA symptoms at 1-month follow-up. Discrimination was not significantly associated with SA symptoms either cross-sectionally or longitudinally, nor did it moderate the relationship between hypervigilance and SA symptoms, either cross-sectionally or longitudinally. The findings of the current study help expand our understanding of how hypervigilance is associated with SA symptoms in SM individuals. Results suggest that hypervigilance may play a role in understanding SA in SM populations, and more research is needed on how LGBTQ+ discrimination may impact SA symptoms.