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Psychology and Sexuality




In partnership with community stakeholders, the present study aimed to gather descriptive data on pandemic-related stress and its association with mental health outcomes among a community sample of self-identified sexual minority women (SMW) in Los Angeles County (N = 84; Mage = 35.61). The sample was comprised solely of women (i.e. self-identified gender identity as woman, including cisgender and transgender women). Data were collected in April 2021, the ‘third wave’ of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Los Angeles experienced some of the highest COVID-19 incidence rates in the United States. Yet, there was a significant lack of COVID-19 data on SMW, thus making it difficult to address the specific needs of this community. Background data were collected on pre-existing health conditions and COVID-19 infection history. Data were specific to COVID-19 stressors in the areas of mental health, financial strain, social isolation and health and discrimination concerns. Findings revealed that mental health concern was strongly associated with financial strain (r =.63, p < .01), social isolation (r =.62, p < .01) and health and discrimination concerns (r =.63, p < .01), thus demonstrating the wide-ranging negative impact of pandemic stressors on the mental health of SMW in Los Angeles during the third wave of COVID-19. Recommendations for future research, practice and policy implications are discussed.


COVID-19, health discrimination, pandemic stress, sexual minority women, social isolation


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology & Sexuality on April 26, 2023, available online:


Social Work