Effects of Sexual/Gender Minority- and Race-Based Enacted Stigma on Mental Health and Substance Use in Female Assigned at Birth Sexual Minority Youth

Gregory Swann*, Jasmine Stephens, Michael E. Newcomb, Sarah W. Whitton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: People of color who are also sexual and gender minorities (SGM) experience forms of enacted stigma based on both their racial/ethnic identity and their SGM status. We set out to test the effects of enacted stigma specific to race/ethnicity and SGM identity on mental health and substance use problems among female assigned at birth (FAB) SGM of color. Method: Data come from a community-based sample of FAB SGM who also identified as racial/ethnic minorities (N = 352). The effects of racial discrimination, SGM victimization, and sexual orientation microaggressions on depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, alcohol-related problems, and marijuana-related problems were tested using linear regression and negative binomial models. Results: Enacted stigma based on both race/ethnicity and SGM status were significant predictors of mental health outcomes and alcohol-related problems within the same model, which suggested that both uniquely contributed to poorer health. There was little support for interactive effects between the multiple forms of enacted stigma. Marijuana-related problems were best explained by enacted stigma based on race/ethnicity only. Conclusions: Racially diverse FAB SGM are at unique risk of experiencing multiple forms of discrimination and aggression based on their minority identities that each contribute negatively to their wellbeing. Consideration of the multiple forms of enacted stigma they face is necessary for understanding health disparities in these populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Enacted stigma
  • Mental health
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Sexual and gender minority
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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