Hazardous Drinking, Depression, and Anxiety Among Sexual-Minority Women: Self-Medication or Impaired Functioning?
journal contributionposted on 10.07.2014 by Timothy P. Johnson, Tonda L. Hughes, Young Ik Cho, Sharon C. Wilsnack, Frances Aranda, Laura A. Szalacha
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
Objective: Sexual-minority women are at heightened risk for a number of mental health problems, including hazardous alcohol consumption, depression, and anxiety. We examined self-medication and impaired-functioning models of the associations among these variables and interpreted results within a life course framework that considered the unique social stressors experienced by sexual-minority women. Method: Data were from a sample of 384 women interviewed during the first two waves of the Chicago Health and Life Experiences of Women (CHLEW) study. Results: Covariance structure modeling revealed that (a) consistent with a self-medication process, anxiety was prospectively associated with hazardous drinking and (b) consistent with air impaired-functioning process, hazardous drinking was prospectively associated with depression. Conclusions: Our findings support a life course perspective that interprets the mental health of adult sexual-minority women as influenced by adverse childhood experiences, age at drinking onset, first heterosexual intercourse, and first sexual identity disclosure, as well as by processes associated with self-medication and impaired functioning during adulthood.