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State-Level Policies and Psychiatric Morbidity In Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations

State-Level Policies and Psychiatric Morbidity In Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations Objectives. We investigated the modifying effect of state-level policies on the association between lesbian, gay, or bisexual status and the prevalence of psychiatric disorders. Methods. Data were from wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a nationally representative study of noninstitutionalized US adults (N = 34 653). States were coded for policies extending protections against hate crimes and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Results. Compared with living in states with policies extending protections, living in states without these policies predicted a significantly stronger association between lesbian, gay, or bisexual status and psychiatric disorders in the past 12 months, including generalized anxiety disorder ( F = 3.87; df = 2; P = .02), post-traumatic stress disorder ( F = 3.42; df = 2; P = .04), and dysthymia ( F = 5.20; df = 2; P = .02). Living in states with policies that did not extend protections also predicted a stronger relation between lesbian, gay, or bisexual status and psychiatric comorbidity ( F = 2.47; df = 2; P = .04). Conclusions. State-level protective policies modify the effect of lesbian, gay, or bisexual status on psychiatric disorders. Policies that reduce discrimination against gays and lesbians are urgently needed to protect the health and well-being of this population. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Public Health American Public Health Association

State-Level Policies and Psychiatric Morbidity In Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations

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Publisher
American Public Health Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by the American Public Health Association
ISSN
0090-0036
eISSN
1541-0048
DOI
10.2105/AJPH.2008.153510
pmid
19833997
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Objectives. We investigated the modifying effect of state-level policies on the association between lesbian, gay, or bisexual status and the prevalence of psychiatric disorders. Methods. Data were from wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a nationally representative study of noninstitutionalized US adults (N = 34 653). States were coded for policies extending protections against hate crimes and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Results. Compared with living in states with policies extending protections, living in states without these policies predicted a significantly stronger association between lesbian, gay, or bisexual status and psychiatric disorders in the past 12 months, including generalized anxiety disorder ( F = 3.87; df = 2; P = .02), post-traumatic stress disorder ( F = 3.42; df = 2; P = .04), and dysthymia ( F = 5.20; df = 2; P = .02). Living in states with policies that did not extend protections also predicted a stronger relation between lesbian, gay, or bisexual status and psychiatric comorbidity ( F = 2.47; df = 2; P = .04). Conclusions. State-level protective policies modify the effect of lesbian, gay, or bisexual status on psychiatric disorders. Policies that reduce discrimination against gays and lesbians are urgently needed to protect the health and well-being of this population.

Journal

American Journal of Public HealthAmerican Public Health Association

Published: Dec 1, 2009

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