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Minerva Psichiatrica 2019 March;60(1):27-50

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1772.18.01995-7


lingua: Inglese

Minority stress and mental health among LGBT populations: an update on the evidence

Francesca MONGELLI 1, Daniela PERRONE 1, Jessica BALDUCCI 1, Andrea SACCHETTI 1, Silvia FERRARI 1, Giorgio MATTEI 2, Gian M. GALEAZZI 1

1 Section of Clinical Neurosciences, Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; 2 “Marco Biagi” Department of Economics and Marco Biagi Foundation, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

INTRODUCTION: In the past five years, researchers have increasingly turned to the study of mental health outcomes in LGBT populations. The present paper summarizes recent literature on the relationship between minority stress experienced by sexual minorities and mental health.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: PsycINFO, PubMed, and the EBSCO Psychology and Behavioral Science Collection were searched for papers concerning minority stress and mental health disparities in LGBT populations, published between 1 January 2014 and 30 June 2018. All collected papers were screened using the following criteria: study involving >50 individuals; written in English; focusing on clinical outcomes of depression, suicidality, and substance use in relation to experienced minority stress.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Sixty-two papers were included in this review. Findings are reported under three main headings: studies primarily focused on depression, studies concerning suicidality and suicide attempts, and papers analyzing the correlation between substance use and minority stress in LGBT populations. The included studies supported the minority stress model as a framework to better explain disparities in mental health outcomes in sexual minority populations. Higher rates of depression, suicidality, and substance use are reported in LGBT populations, as are the related minority stressors analyzed.
CONCLUSIONS: Sexual minorities still face numerous mental health disparities. Research indicates that the levels of minority stressors positively predict mental health outcomes. Specific policies designed to support the civil rights of sexual minorities may help to overcome such inequalities.

KEY WORDS: Minority health - Mental health - Sexual and gender minorities - Depression - Suicide - Substance-related disorders

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