WVXU: Young LGBTQ women have alarming rates of depression and anxiety

UC study looks to identify stressors and develop ways to improve mental health of sexual minority

University of Cincinnati clinical psychologist and researcher Sarah Whitton, PhD, and graduate student Emily Devlin were featured guests on WVXU’s Cincinnati Edition.

The reserach academics joined host Lucy May to discuss a new study of the FAB 400, a cohort of sexual minority women.

The study, led by Whitton and supported by a federal grant, looks to identify mental health risks and protective factors for sexual minority women and is a continuation of a prior study with this same cohort. That study, when the cohort was younger, determined the group had higher levels of anxiety and depression than sexual minority men.

“Most of the research funding that goes toward sexual minority men,” Whitton said in the segment.

The study also seeks to understand the pathways through which societal stigma (e.g., prejudice, discrimination) can lead to mental health issues in SMW, such as family rejection, social isolation and internalization of negative views. Devlin, who is on Whitton’s research team, expounded on how these life experiences can lead to mental health issues.

The study will also analyze biological data from the participants, through blood draws, to measure chronic inflammation and its effects on mental health.

Listen to the interview

Read more about the study

Featured image at top: iStockphoto/danhill

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