Undergraduate Research

Article Title

The Correlation Between Perceived Discrimination and Social Anxiety in College Students Who Identify as LGBTQ


Discrimination can have many adverse effects on a college student. Stress, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideology, and social motivation are some of the negative impacts to the psychological well-being of those exposed to discrimination. Social interaction anxiety in relation to sexual orientation or gender identity may impact social motivation in college students. The motivation to engage in socialization on campus may be hindered by an individual’s experience with discrimination. Though a diverse student body may help lower instances of discrimination, students may still be influenced by stigmas within these groups which may impact physical and psychological behaviors. The author of the current study explored the relationship between discrimination and social interaction anxiety in 38 self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) undergraduate students. Participants completed a survey assessing experiences of perceived discrimination and levels of social anxiety. The results from the current pilot study portrayed a weak and direct correlation between perceived discrimination and social interaction anxiety, r = .31, p < 0.03 (one tailed), r² = .10. The data suggests that discrimination is an issue that sexual minority undergraduate students face which relates to their levels of social motivation.