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Research demonstrates that both proximal personal characteristics (e.g., outness, emotion dysregulation) and distal stressors (e.g., heterosexism) may be associated with harmful alcohol use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals. No study has systematically examined the factors linking LGB identity outness to harmful alcohol use. The current cross-sectional study bridges this gap by testing a sequential mediation model wherein heterosexist experiences (HE) and emotion dysregulation (ER) were hypothesized to mediate the relationship between outness and alcohol use.


Participants were 264 LGB emerging adults in the age range of 18-29 years (M/SD = 25.46/2.74; 16.7% lesbian, 23.1% gay, 60.2% bisexual).


Findings showed that 8.3% scored above a cutoff indicating harmful alcohol use. Findings supported the hypothesized serial mediation linking low levels of outness with harmful alcohol use via HE and ER, with a significant serial indirect effect (B = −.002, CI = −.004 — −.0004) and indirect effects via both HE (B = −.01, CI = −.02 – −.002) and ER (B = −.01, CI = −.02 – −.003).


Heterosexist experiences and emotion dysregulation are potential links in the association between outness and harmful alcohol use.


Rights managed by Taylor & Francis. Original published version available at

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Journal Of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health



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Psychology Commons



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