Effects of general and sexual minority-specific COVID-19-related stressors on the mental health of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Hong Kong

Yiu Tung SUEN, Randolph Chun Ho CHAN, Eliz Miu Yin WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

The impact of COVID-19 on mental health has begun to be widely recognized. While the mental health of socially marginalized groups has been examined, there is an absence of studies on how the mental health of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people have been affected. 857 LGB people in Hong Kong participated in a community-based survey study. Over one-fourth of them met the criteria for probable clinical depression (31.5%) and generalized anxiety disorder (27.9%). Besides general stressors, we identified sexual minority-specific stressors during the pandemic. 4.2% of the participants indicated that they had frequently experienced family conflict related to sexual orientation. One-third responded that they had largely reduced connection to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender plus (LGBT+) community (34.7%). The results showed that sexual minority-specific COVID-19-related stressors significantly contributed to the variance explained in depressive and anxiety symptoms, beyond the contribution of general COVID-19-related stressors. Since LGB people are particularly vulnerable to poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, LGB people-targeting organizations need to understand more about family, space and privacy concerns in order to provide better support, and LGB safe spaces and shelters may be needed as a policy response. Copyright © 2020 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113365
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume292
Early online dateAug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 2020

Citation

Suen, Y.-T., Chan, R. C. H., & Wong, E. M. Y. (2020). Effects of general and sexual minority-specific COVID-19-related stressors on the mental health of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Hong Kong. Psychiatry Research, 292. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113365

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sexual minorities
  • Hong Kong

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