Minority stress is longitudinally associated with alcohol-related problems among sexual minority women.
Compared to sexual minority men and heterosexual women, sexual minority women report elevated alcohol use in young adulthood. Heavy alcohol use and alcohol use disorders disproportionately affect sexual minority women across the lifespan, yet there is limited research investigating reasons for such associations. The present study investigates longitudinal associations between minority stress and both alcohol use as well as self-rated drinking consequences. Participants (N=1057) were self-identified lesbian (40.5%) and bisexual (59.5%) women between the ages of 18 to 25 recruited from across the U.S. using online advertisements. Participants completed four annual surveys. Hurdle mixed effects models were used to assess associations between minority stress and typical weekly drinking and drinking consequences one year later. Minority stress was not significantly associated with subsequent typical drinking. However, minority stress was significantly associated with having any alcohol consequences as well as the count of alcohol consequences one year later after controlling for covariates. Consistent with extant literature, this study provides evidence for a prospective association between minority stress experienced by sexual minority women and drinking consequences. This study also provides support for the potential impact of efforts to reduce minority stress faced by sexual minority women.
Wilson, SM; Gilmore, AK; Rhew, IC; Hodge, KA; Kaysen, DL
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