The effects of family support and smartphone-derived homestay on daily mood and depression among sexual and gender minority adolescents


Sexual and gender minority (SGM) adolescents are at elevated risk for depression. This risk is especially pronounced among adolescents whose home environment is unsupportive or nonaffirming, as these adolescents may face familial rejection due to their identity. Therefore, it is critical to better understand the mechanisms underlying this risk by probing temporally sensitive associations between negative mood and time spent in potentially hostile home environments. The current study included adolescents (N = 141; 43% SGM; 13–18 years old), oversampled for depression history, who completed clinical interviews assessing lifetime psychiatric history and depression severity as well as self-report measures of social support. Participants also installed an app on their personal smartphones, which assessed their daily mood and geolocation-determined mobility patterns over a 6-month follow-up period. Over the 6-month follow-up period, SGM adolescents reported elevated depression severity and lower daily mood relative to non-SGM youth. Interestingly, SGM adolescents who reported low family support experienced lower daily mood than non-SGM adolescents, particularly on days when they spent more time at home. Current findings reinforce evidence for disparities in depression severity among SGM adolescents and highlight family support as a key factor. Specifically, more time spent in home environments with low family support was associated with worse mood among SGM adolescents. These results underscore the need for clinical interventions to support SGM youth, particularly interventions that focus on familial relationships and social support within the home environment.

Journal of Psychopathology and Clinical Science