Discrimination and Mental Health Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults in the United States
journal contributionposted on 03.02.2016, 00:00 by W. Bostwick, C.J. Boyd, T.L. Hughes, B.T. West, S.E. McCabe
Health disparities among sexual minority groups, particularly mental health disparities, are well-documented. Numerous studies have demonstrated heightened prevalence of depressive and anxiety disorders among lesbian, gay, and bisexual groups as compared with heterosexuals. Some authors posit that these disparities are the result of the stress that prejudice and perceived discrimination can cause. The current study extends previous research by examining the associations between multiple types of discrimination, based on race or ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, and past-year mental health disorders in a national sample of self-identified lesbian, gay, and bisexual women and men (n 577). Findings suggest that different types of discrimination may be differentially associated with past-year mental health disorders. Notably, sexual orientation discrimination was associated with higher odds of a past-year disorder only in combination with other types of discrimination. These findings point to the complexity of the relationship between discrimination experiences and mental health, and suggest that further work is needed to better explicate the interplay among multiple marginalized identities, discrimination, and mental health.