Lesbian, gay, bisexual individuals risk psychiatric disorders from discriminatory policies

Mar 02, 2010

A Mailman School of Public Health study examining the effects of institutional discrimination on the psychiatric health of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals found an increase in psychiatric disorders among the LGB population living in states that instituted bans on same-sex marriage. The study, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health, is available online.

Deborah Hasin, PhD, professor of clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health and senior author, and colleagues at the NYS Psychiatric Institute and Harvard University analyzed data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Participants were initially interviewed during 2001 - 2002 (Wave 1) and again during the period 2004-2005 (Wave 2), at which time participants' was assessed.

"To address the impact of institutional discrimination on mental health, we examined whether LGB individuals living in states that instituted constitutional amendments banning gay marriage via the 2004-2005 elections evidenced increased rates of between Wave 1 and Wave 2 of the survey," according to the authors.

Among LGB study participants living in these states, the prevalence of mood disorders, generalized anxiety disorder and alcohol use disorders increased significantly between Wave 1 to Wave 2, with the greatest increase, more than 200%, in . The prevalence of any psychiatric disorder also increased slightly among heterosexual respondents, but to a much lesser extent than their LGB counterparts.

"Before this study, little was known about the impact of institutional discrimination toward lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals in our society," said Dr. Hasin. "The study highlights the importance of abolishing institutional forms of discrimination, including those leading to disparities in the mental health and well-being of LGB individuals."

Institutional is characterized by societal-level conditions that limit the opportunities and access to resources by socially-disadvantaged groups.

During the 2004 election and soon after, the authors note, 14 states approved constitutional amendments restricting marriage to unions between heterosexual couples.

Explore further: Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

It's not easy being gay

Aug 13, 2009

Members of 'sexual minorities' are around twice as likely as heterosexuals to seek help for mental health issues or substance abuse treatment. A model of treatment-seeking behavior, described in the open access journal BMC Ps ...

Recommended for you

Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

Apr 18, 2014

A new article published online in The Gerontologist reports that among older Christians, listening to religious music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and increases in life satisfaction, self-e ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (4) Mar 17, 2010
They already have a psychiatric disorder (they are after all unnatural in the aspect they don't like the opposite sex-I consider this a disorder in and of itself), and it isnt from discrimination...
Fix their real disorder, and the discrimination issue is, well, no longer an issue...
JayK
1 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2010
As soon as you publish your findings, LuckyBrandon, about how homosexuality is a correctable mental disorder you should post it in one of these threads where you've crapped your opinion all over. Otherwise, your opinion is worthless.
LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (3) Mar 18, 2010
Actually, I'd bet money that it is correctable, and I bet someone comes up with a fix for it one day.
You can always tell a queer or a queer lover by responses just like that....so which are you....

More news stories

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.