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The Impact of Minority Stress and Gender Identity on PTSD Outcomes in Sexual Minority Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma

28 January 2020

Publication Date
14 November 2019

Original Abstract

The minority stress model posits that the differences in prevalence rates of mental health problems in sexual minority individuals compared to heterosexual individuals are caused by stigma and other minority-status specific stressors. While this model has been applied to a number of mental health concerns and specific populations (e.g. gender minority individuals), little research has examined the degree to which this model applies to the development of PTSD symptoms following experiences of interpersonal traumas (IPTs) such as sexual and relationship abuse. Thus, this study examined the degree to which components of the minority stress model (internalised stigma and outness), as well as gender minority status, predicted PTSD symptoms in participants who had experienced sexual trauma and relationship trauma, respectively, while controlling for social reactions to the trauma. Sexual minority individuals in this sample who also identified as a gender minority were at a greater risk of PTSD symptoms regardless of the type of IPT they experienced. Internalised stigma (specifically homonegativity) only predicted PTSD symptoms for survivors of sexual trauma, and outness was not predictive for either group. Implications for future research and clinical work are discussed.

Solomon, D.T., Combs, E.M., Allen, K., Roles, S., DiCarlo, S., Reed, O. and Klaver, S.J. (2019). The impact of minority stress and gender identity on PTSD outcomes in sexual minority survivors of interpersonal trauma. Psychology & Sexuality. DOI: 10.1080/19419899.2019.1690033.

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PTSD, mental health, minority stress, sexual minority, interpersonal trauma


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