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Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2009 Oct;79(4):500-10. doi: 10.1037/a0016848.

Social and psychological well-being in lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals: the effects of race, gender, age, and sexual identity.

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HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, NY, USA.


Using a social stress perspective, the authors studied the mental health effects of added burden related to socially disadvantaged status (being African American or Latino, female, young, and identifying as bisexual vs. gay or lesbian) in a community sample of 396 self-identified lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults. Mental health outcomes were social and psychological well-being contrasted with depressive symptoms. When mental health deficiencies by disadvantaged social status were detected, the authors examined whether LGB community connectedness and positive sexual identity valence played a mediating role, reducing the social status disparity in outcome. The authors found different patterns when looking at social versus psychological well-being and positive versus negative mental health outcomes. Bisexuality and young age, but not gender and racial/ethnic minority status, were associated with decreased social well-being. In bisexuals, this relationship was mediated by community connectedness and sexual identity valence. Although no differences in social or psychological well-being were found by gender, female gender was associated with depressed mood. The authors conclude that there is limited support for an additive stress model.

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