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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans health inequalitiesInternational perspectives in social work$
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Julie Fish and Kate Karban

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447309673

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447309673.001.0001

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Mental health inequalities among LGBT older people in the United States

Mental health inequalities among LGBT older people in the United States

curricula developments

(p.237) Fourteen Mental health inequalities among LGBT older people in the United States
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans health inequalities

Valerie Lester Leyva

Policy Press

Large scale studies have explored the interactions between sexual orientation/gender identity and mental health outcomes in English-speaking countries. These studies illuminate the ways in which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adults experience disparities in mental health outcomes when compared to their heterosexual peers. For example, lesbians and bisexual women are at greater lifetime risk for substance abuse and dependence than heterosexual men and women. Gay men experience higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders than their heterosexual male peers or lesbians. Bisexual women are more likely to report poorer outcomes related to mood, anxiety and suicide than their heterosexual or homosexual counterparts. Transgendered individuals cite sexual minority status, discrimination, negative body image and the complexity of intimate partner relationships as significant factors affecting mental health. The effects of aging on mental health outcomes have largely been ignored. While some authors specify the need to focus on the additional factors of age, cohort affect, culture and individual life experiences when studying LGBT populations, few studies have utilized these when exploring mental health disparities. This chapter describes how incorporating these factors will illuminate ways in which LGBT mental health disparities may shift over the lifespan and offer suggestions for future research.

Keywords:   social determinants of health, social exclusion and marginalisation, best practice, diversity training

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