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    “Under house arrest”: mental health and minority stress experiences of LGBTQ+ young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe

    Malmquist, A. and Miscioscia, M. and Leal, D. and Tasker, Fiona and Bredenberg, C. and Gubello, A. and Gato, J. and Houghton, Marie and Wurm, M. (2023) “Under house arrest”: mental health and minority stress experiences of LGBTQ+ young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC , ISSN 1553-6610.

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    Abstract

    Introduction: Increased rates of mental health issues among LGBTQ+ people have been reported during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among young people. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted 2021 with 61 young adult LGBTQ+ people residing in France, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, and the UK. Each interview was summarized on a template covering the participants’ experiences of pandemic restrictions, mental health, and minority stress during this period. A thematic analysis was conducted on the templates. Results: The pandemic restrictions had a large impact on the participants’ lives, leaving them stuck at home. Not having access to the LGBTQ+ community was an additional stress, as this is a venue for support. Half of the participants had suffered from mental health issues during the pandemic. Those who were living in non-affirmative households had a particularly difficult time and experienced overwhelming stress. Increased feelings of gender dysphoria were seen among trans participants due to lack of access to gender affirming healthcare. Most participants experienced less distal minority stress than usual due to social isolation restrictions. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated social restrictions had a large impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ young adults. Many experience worse mental health, although a relief from distal minority stress was common. Policy implications: Policy makers must consider the needs of LGBTQ+ young adults as they seek to explore and establish their gender and/or sexual identity. During a pandemic, it is particularly important to help young LGBTQ+ people to engage with the LGBTQ+ community.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Funding: This work was funded in Sweden by the Swedish Royal Academy of Science (AM 2021-0005); in Italy and France by Supporting grant 2019 (prot.BIRD195080) of the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of Padua; in Portugal by Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) (SFRH/PD/BD/143068/2018); and in the UK by the British Academy (BA COV19_201169).
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Sexual and gender minority, COVID-19, young adults, minority stress, mental health, social restrictions
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck (BiGS)
    Depositing User: Fiona Tasker
    Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2024 06:23
    Last Modified: 05 Jan 2024 11:06
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/52747

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