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Minority stress in lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults in Australia: associations with psychological distress, suicidality, and substance use.
Arch Sex Behav. 2014 Nov; 43(8):1571-8.AS

Abstract

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and other same-sex attracted young people have been shown to be at a higher risk of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, suicidality, and substance abuse, compared to their heterosexual peers. Homophobic prejudice and stigma are often thought to underlie these disparities. In this study, the relationship between such experiences of social derogation and mental health and substance use in same-sex attracted young people was examined using Meyer's minority stress theory. An online survey recruited 254 young women and 318 young men who identified as same-sex attracted, were aged 18-25 years, and lived in Sydney, Australia. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that internalized homophobia, perceived stigma, and experienced homophobic physical abuse were associated with higher levels of psychological distress and self-reported suicidal thoughts in the previous month. Furthermore, perceived stigma and homophobic physical abuse were associated with reporting a lifetime suicide attempt. The association between minority stress and substance use was inconsistent. While, as expected, higher levels of perceived stigma were associated with club drug dependence, there was an inverse association between internalized homophobia and club drug use, and between perceived stigma and hazardous alcohol use. The findings of this study provide support for the minority stress theory proposition that chronic social stress due to sexual orientation is associated with poorer mental health. The high rates of mental health and substance use problems in the current study suggest that same-sex attracted young people should continue to be a priority population for mental health and substance use intervention and prevention.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Centre for Social Research in Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia, toby.lea@unsw.edu.au.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24573397

Citation

Lea, Toby, et al. "Minority Stress in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young Adults in Australia: Associations With Psychological Distress, Suicidality, and Substance Use." Archives of Sexual Behavior, vol. 43, no. 8, 2014, pp. 1571-8.
Lea T, de Wit J, Reynolds R. Minority stress in lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults in Australia: associations with psychological distress, suicidality, and substance use. Arch Sex Behav. 2014;43(8):1571-8.
Lea, T., de Wit, J., & Reynolds, R. (2014). Minority stress in lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults in Australia: associations with psychological distress, suicidality, and substance use. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43(8), 1571-8. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-014-0266-6
Lea T, de Wit J, Reynolds R. Minority Stress in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young Adults in Australia: Associations With Psychological Distress, Suicidality, and Substance Use. Arch Sex Behav. 2014;43(8):1571-8. PubMed PMID: 24573397.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Minority stress in lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults in Australia: associations with psychological distress, suicidality, and substance use. AU - Lea,Toby, AU - de Wit,John, AU - Reynolds,Robert, Y1 - 2014/02/27/ PY - 2013/01/09/received PY - 2013/12/30/accepted PY - 2013/06/21/revised PY - 2014/2/28/entrez PY - 2014/2/28/pubmed PY - 2015/2/20/medline SP - 1571 EP - 8 JF - Archives of sexual behavior JO - Arch Sex Behav VL - 43 IS - 8 N2 - Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and other same-sex attracted young people have been shown to be at a higher risk of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, suicidality, and substance abuse, compared to their heterosexual peers. Homophobic prejudice and stigma are often thought to underlie these disparities. In this study, the relationship between such experiences of social derogation and mental health and substance use in same-sex attracted young people was examined using Meyer's minority stress theory. An online survey recruited 254 young women and 318 young men who identified as same-sex attracted, were aged 18-25 years, and lived in Sydney, Australia. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that internalized homophobia, perceived stigma, and experienced homophobic physical abuse were associated with higher levels of psychological distress and self-reported suicidal thoughts in the previous month. Furthermore, perceived stigma and homophobic physical abuse were associated with reporting a lifetime suicide attempt. The association between minority stress and substance use was inconsistent. While, as expected, higher levels of perceived stigma were associated with club drug dependence, there was an inverse association between internalized homophobia and club drug use, and between perceived stigma and hazardous alcohol use. The findings of this study provide support for the minority stress theory proposition that chronic social stress due to sexual orientation is associated with poorer mental health. The high rates of mental health and substance use problems in the current study suggest that same-sex attracted young people should continue to be a priority population for mental health and substance use intervention and prevention. SN - 1573-2800 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24573397/Minority_stress_in_lesbian_gay_and_bisexual_young_adults_in_Australia:_associations_with_psychological_distress_suicidality_and_substance_use_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-014-0266-6 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -