LATINA SEXUAL MINORITY WOMEN: HOW DOES MINORITY STRESS AFFECT THEIR MENTAL HEALTH
Edward Troncoso1, Alicia Matthews2, Frances Aranda2.
1Hispanic Center of Excellence, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.
Previous researchers have reported that sexual minority women (SMW) are at an elevated risk for depression, suicide attempt, and suicide ideation. These negative mental health outcomes have been found to be associated with various minority stressors. To date, few studies have focused on minority stressors affecting Latina SMW with multiple marginalized statuses. To address this gap, we examined the relationship between minority stress, which for our sample focused on stressors (sexual identity, low income or education, languages spoken other than English, and citizenship status) and mental health outcomes (depression, suicide attempt, suicide ideation) in a sample of adult Latina SMW (n = 280). We conducted a secondary analysis from the 2007-2008 Project Latina data. The following bivariate analyses were conducted for each outcome: depression (n = 218), suicide attempts (n = 217), and suicide ideation (n = 216) and level of minority stress. The mean for minority stress was 2.25 (sd 0.869; range 0 - 5) and the mean for age 36.19 (sd 10.891; range 18 - 66). Results showed no significant association between any of the mental health outcomes and level of minority stress. One explanation may be that the sample was of relatively older individuals, and they may have developed resiliency over time to deal with various stressors. Resilience can be used to combat adversity. Future research should examine other minority stressors (e.g., coming out/disclosure) and should also include an assessment of resiliency to better understand the risks and protective factors for mental health.