The Effects of East Asian American Identity and Christian Faith on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Identity Development: A Critical Analysis of the Literature

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In the United States, the recognition and acceptance of those who identity as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) has generally seen an upward trend since the 1980s (Drake, 2013). Despite this trend, conservative Christians who maintain a traditional reading of the Bible are likely to be less accepting of LGB people (Gallup, 2018), and studies have shown that conservative religious beliefs were related to internalized homophobia and negative mental health outcomes in LGB Christians (Rodriguez, 2009; Sherry, Adelman, Whilde, & Quick, 2010; Walton, 2006). Research has shown that LGB East Asian Americans also struggle to integrate their dual minority identities due to familial obligations to maintain strict gender roles and procreate (Chung & Katayama, 1998; Fukuyama & Ferguson, 2000), as well as the deep-seated influences of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism on many Asian cultures (Liu & Chan, 2003). Similar to LGB Christians, this struggle often results in detrimental mental health outcomes for LGB Asian Americans (Sandil, Robinson, Brewster, Wong, & Geiger, 2015; Santos & VanDaalen, 2016; Sung, Szymanski, & Henrichs-Beck, 2015; Szymanski & Sung, 2010). The question arises of how East Asian American identity and Christian faith affect LGB identity development in persons who identify as all three. The review and critical analysis of the literature explores the integration of Asian American identity, Christian faith, and LGB identity development as well as potential clinical issues and implications for mental health professionals.

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

Simpson, Stephen W.

Document Type





Asian American, Gay and lesbian studies, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals, Sexuality, Spirituality


Clinical Psychology


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