Sociology, Department of


First Advisor

Kelsy Burke

Date of this Version



Morrow, Jessica. 2018. "Birds of a Feather? Friendship Utilization by Sexual Minority Students During the Transition to College." M.A. Thesis, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Sociology, Under the Supervision of Professor Kelsy Burke. Lincoln, Nebraska: June, 2018.

Copyright (c) 2018 Jessica Morrow


Friendship is important for individuals at any point in their lives, but takes on a new role during emerging adulthood as individuals make the transition into adult roles and responsibilities (Arnett 2000, 2006). Potentially even more significant is the importance of friendship to sexual minority young adults who are also forming their identities at this stage (Brandon-Friedman and Kim 2016). Since the transition to college takes place during emerging adulthood, it is important to examine how sexual minority young adults utilize their friendships with other sexual minorities as well as heterosexual peers to navigate this transition. Drawing on in-depth interviews with ten sexual minority students attending a large Midwestern university, I found that participants often sought out friendships with other sexual minorities. These friendships, in many cases, buffered the stressors associated with being a sexual minority, and highlighted the significance of friendships with individuals who share one’s minority status.

Advisor: Kelsy Burke