Understanding co-occurring depression symptoms and alcohol use symptoms among cisgender sexual minority women
Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services
Sexual minority women (SMW; e.g., lesbian, bisexual) experience depression and alcohol use disorder at approximately twice the rates of heterosexual women. Though discrimination is a common explanation for these disparities, little is known about the mechanisms through which discrimination contributes to these disparities. Past research has found that the strategies that individuals use to regulate their emotions in response to discrimination may influence their depression symptoms and alcohol use symptoms. The current study proposes and validates a model to test whether alcohol use, suppression of emotion expression, and social support explain the relationships between discrimination and depression/alcohol use symptoms of cisgender SMW. A national sample of 1,782 cisgender SMW completed an online survey in 2017 through The PRIDE Study. Structural equation modeling was used to test model hypotheses. Discrimination was associated with lower levels of social support, but discrimination was not associated with higher levels of alcohol use or suppression. Social support, alcohol use, suppression, and discrimination were all significantly associated with depression symptoms. This study makes an important contribution to the literature by evaluating mechanisms that may potentially drive depression and alcohol use symptoms among cisgender SMW, focusing on mechanisms that can be intervened upon using existing evidence-based practices.
National Institutes of Health
alcohol use disorder, depression, discrimination, Sexual minority women
Briana L. McGeough, Adrian Aguilera, Matthew R. Capriotti, Juno Obedin-Maliver, Micah E. Lubensky, Mitchell R. Lunn, and Annesa Flentje. "Understanding co-occurring depression symptoms and alcohol use symptoms among cisgender sexual minority women" Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services (2021): 427-450. https://doi.org/10.1080/10538720.2021.1886214