The Language of Minority Stress Experiences of Sexual Minority Communities on Reddit
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Prior literature indicates members of sexual minorities face higher risk of mental health challenges than their counterparts. These individuals are often more predisposed to disorders such as drug addiction, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Online communities and social media provide a space for individuals to seek support, find peers, and disclose their thoughts and emotions. Using posts from the r/lgbt community on Reddit, we employ social media analysis and machine learning to examine and quantify the language of minority stress. Drawing from existing minority stress theory, we develop a codebook to identify minority stress in social media posts. Using a dataset annotated with the codebook, we train a machine learning classifier to predict posts with minority stress. Lastly, we analyze the linguistic cues of these newly machine-labelled posts, build a lexicon of minority stress markers, and relate our findings back to minority stress theory.