Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity








Lesbian women face unique sexual minority stressors (SMS) because of their stigmatized and marginalized status in society. Existing studies of SMS are primarily cross-sectional and use global measures of SMS. The goal of the present study was to develop a brief daily measure of SMS for use in daily diary or ecological momentary assessment studies. Existing retrospective measures of SMS were reviewed, resulting in an initial pool of 29 items. Thirty-eight lesbian women (Mage = 24.3 years, range: 19–30 years) completed a daily web-based survey including the SMS items for 12 days. Two response scales were tested; participants were randomized to receive a 3-point (for brevity) or 7-point (for precision) scale for the first 6 days and the other response scale for the remaining 6 days to counterbalance order. Findings suggest the 7-point scale was optimal because it provided greater variability. To reduce scale length, item correlations were examined to identify clusters and 1 item was retained from each cluster, reducing the scale to 18 items. Then, using hierarchical linear modeling, null models with each item as the outcome were conducted to examine level 1 and level 2 variances; 8-, 10-, 12-, and 18-item scales were compared to identify the ideal number of items. The 8-item scale had the highest Cronbach’s alpha (.85) and the smallest intraclass correlation (.13), suggesting these 8 items are optimal for capturing within-person variability in young lesbian women’s daily SMS experiences. As researchers are increasingly interested in using ecological momentary assessment methods, this 8-item measure can assess SMS in lesbian women’s everyday lives.


© American Psychological Association, 2018. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. The final article is available, upon publication, at:

Original Publication Citation

Heron, K. E., Braitman, A. L., Lewis, R. J., Shappie, A. T., & Hitson, P. T. (2018). Measuring sexual minority stressors in lesbian women’s daily lives: Initial scale development. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 5(3), 387-395.


0000-0002-7452-876X (Heron), 0000-0003-2259-1094 (Braitman)