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Psychol Bull. 2003 Sep;129(5):674-97.

Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: conceptual issues and research evidence.

Author information

1
Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA. im15@columbia.edu

Abstract

In this article the author reviews research evidence on the prevalence of mental disorders in lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals (LGBs) and shows, using meta-analyses, that LGBs have a higher prevalence of mental disorders than heterosexuals. The author offers a conceptual framework for understanding this excess in prevalence of disorder in terms of minority stress--explaining that stigma, prejudice, and discrimination create a hostile and stressful social environment that causes mental health problems. The model describes stress processes, including the experience of prejudice events, expectations of rejection, hiding and concealing, internalized homophobia, and ameliorative coping processes. This conceptual framework is the basis for the review of research evidence, suggestions for future research directions, and exploration of public policy implications.

PMID:
12956539
PMCID:
PMC2072932
DOI:
10.1037/0033-2909.129.5.674
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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