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Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Sexual Orientation Disparities in Substance Use: Investigating Social Stress Mechanisms in a National Sample
Introduction: Sexual minorities are disproportionately more likely than heterosexuals to suffer from substance use disorders, but relatively little is known about differences in substance use disorders across diverse sexual minority subgroups. There is also limited understanding of how different social stressors account for sexual orientation disparities in substance use disorders. Methods: Using nationally representative data collected in 2012−2013 (n=34,597), differences in past-year DSM-5 alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco use disorders were assessed across 4 sexual orientation groups (heterosexuals and 3 sexual minority subgroups, lesbian/gay-, bisexual-, and heterosexual-identified sexual minorities). This study assessed whether stressful life events mediated substance use disorder disparities between heterosexuals and each sexual minority subgroup, and whether stressful life events and lesbian, gay, and bisexual discrimination events mediated these substance use disorder differences. Analyses were conducted in 2019. Results: For both men and women, substance use disorders and stress experiences varied by sexual identity. For example, compared with heterosexual men, larger proportions of gay and bisexual men had a past-year alcohol use disorder. Among women, all sexual minority subgroups had higher rates of each substance use disorder than heterosexuals. For each substance use disorder, stressful life events mediated disparities between heterosexuals and sexual minority subgroups, except for heterosexual-identified sexual minority men. Both stressful life events and lesbian, gay, and bisexual discrimination mediated substance use disorder differences between sexual minority subgroups, with stronger indirect effects through lesbian, gay, and bisexual discrimination for lesbians/gay men and stronger indirect effects through stressful life events for bisexual adults, generally. Conclusions: Sexual minority subgroups have a greater prevalence of substance use disorders, mediated through both stressful life events and lesbian, gay, and bisexual discrimination. More research is needed to comprehensively assess the processes underlying sexual orientation substance use disparities.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Substance Use Among a National Sample of Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents: Intersections of Sex Assigned at Birth and Gender Identity
Purpose:  We examined how substance use differed as a function of sex assigned at birth and gender identity (cisgender, transgender, or nonbinary/genderqueer) by type of substance. We sought to test whether current gender identity and sex assigned at birth were key factors in substance use among a large contemporary sample that included transgender and nonbinary/genderqueer adolescents. Methods:  We analyzed data from a large national U.S. sample of sexual and gender minority (SGM) adolescents (n = 11,129) collected between April and December 2017. Chi-square tests of independence were used to test whether substance use behaviors varied by sex assigned at birth and gender identity. A series of multivariate logistic regression models tested the odds of substance use by sex assigned at birth and gender identity, as well as the interaction between sex assigned at birth and gender identity. Results:  More than half of our sample reported lifetime alcohol use, and one-fourth of the sample reported lifetime marijuana use. Adolescents assigned male at birth had higher prevalence of substance use compared with adolescents assigned female at birth (AFAB). Multivariate models elucidated greater risk for most substance use outcomes for transgender adolescents compared with cisgender adolescents. We found significant interaction effects between gender identity and sex assigned at birth for recent alcohol use and lifetime and recent cigarette use among adolescents AFAB. Conclusions:  These findings have implications for stakeholders who develop nationally representative surveys, researchers who examine substance use disparities among SGM adolescents, and mental health professionals who treat underage substance use among vulnerable populations.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
Article ReferenceSexual minority youth are at a disadvantage: what now?
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
Article ReferenceFamily Rejection and Cigarette Smoking Among Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents in the USA
Background Sexual and gender minority (SGM) adolescents are more likely than their heterosexual and cisgender peers to smoke cigarettes. Family rejection has been associated with adverse health outcomes; however, few studies have examined whether SGM-specific family rejection is associated with cigarette smoking among SGM adolescents. Method A non-probability sample of 11,005 SGM adolescents (M = 15.58, SD = 1.27) completed an online cross-sectional survey. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were conducted to examine associations between SGM-specific family rejection, sociodemographic variables, and smoking. Results Approximately 7% of the sample currently smoked cigarettes. Pansexual, asexual, trans boys, and non-binary assigned female at birth adolescents had the highest SGM family rejection scores. In multivariable regression analyses, SGM-specific family rejection was independently associated with smoking after adjusting for covariates (AOR = 1.15, 95% CI 1.04, 1.28). Family support (AOR = 0.80, 95% CI 0.73, 0.88) and experiencing violence (AOR = 1.64, 95% CI 1.49, 1.82) were also associated with smoking in multivariable models. Adolescents who identified as bisexual versus gay/lesbian (AOR = 1.50, 95% CI 1.21, 1.85) and trans boys versus cisgender girls (AOR = 2.05, 95% CI 1.13, 3.71) had an increased odds of smoking. Those who disclosed their sexual orientation identity to most (AOR = 1.95, 95% CI 1.45, 2.63) and all (AOR = 1.60, 95% CI 1.21, 2.11) of their family/parents had increased odds of smoking. Conclusion Our findings underscore the importance of attending to the role of SGM-specific family rejection and distinctions with SGM adolescents in tobacco prevention and smoking cessation efforts.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
MPRC Associates lead COVID-19 pilot study
University of Maryland Seed Grant funds research into COVID-19 social impacts
Located in News
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Reconsidering Approaches to Estimating Health Disparities Across Multiple Measures of Sexual Orientation
Purpose:  We propose a new theoretically grounded approach for estimating sexual orientation-related health risk that accounts for the unique and shared variance of sexual identity across other measures of sexual orientation (i.e., attraction and behavior). We argue and illustrate that this approach provides specificity not demonstrated by approaches that independently estimate and compare health risk based on sexual identity, attraction, and behavior. Methods:  Data were from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III, collected in 2012–2013 (N = 36,309, ages 18 and older). The Karlson-Holm-Breen method tested the degree to which attraction- and behavior-based disparities in mental health and substance use disorders change after adjusting for sexual identity. Results:  Sexual attraction- and behavior-based disparities in mental health and substance use disorders statistically varied when comparing models that did and did not adjust for sexual identity. Adjusting for sexual identity appeared to have a larger influence on attraction- and behavior-based health associations among men; sexual minority and majority differences were attenuated on nearly every outcome after adjusting for sexual identity. This attenuation was less common among women. Among women, some behavior-based disparities were wider in sexual identity-adjusted models relative to unadjusted models. Conclusion:  We demonstrate more accurate approaches to capturing and comparing sexual orientation-related health disparities across multiple measures of sexual orientation, which account for the shared variance between sexual identity and measures of attraction and behavior. Adjusted estimates provide more specificity regarding relative health risk across specific subgroups of sexual minority people, and the intervention and prevention strategies needed to address them.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
Article ReferenceComparing National Probability and Community‑Based Samples of Sexual Minority Adults: Implications and Recommendations for Sampling and Measurement
Scientific evidence regarding sexual minority populations has generally come from studies based on two types of samples: community-derived samples and probability samples. Probability samples are lauded as the gold standard of population research for their ability to represent the population of interest. However, while studies using community samples lack generalizability, they are often better able to assess population-specific concerns (e.g., minority stress) and are collected more rapidly, allowing them to be more responsive to changing population dynamics. Given these advantages, many sexual minority population studies rely on community samples. To identify how probability and community samples of sexual minorities are similar and different, we compared participant characteristics from two companion samples from the  Generations Study , each designed with the same demographic profile of U.S. sexual minority adults in mind. The first sample was recruited for a national probability survey, whereas the second was recruited for a multicommunity sample from four U.S. cities. We examined sociodemographic differences between the samples. Although there were several statistical differences between samples, the effect sizes were small for sociodemographic characteristics that defined the sample inclusion criteria: sex assigned at birth, race/ethnicity, and age cohort. The samples differed across other characteristics: bisexual respondents, respondents with less education, and those living in non-urban areas were underrepresented in the community sample. Our findings offer insights for recruiting community samples of sexual minority populations and for measuring sexual identity on probability surveys. They also bolster confidence in well-designed community samples as sources for data on sexual minority populations.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Creating Supportive Environments for LGBT Older Adults: An Efficacy Evaluation of Staff Training in a Senior Living Facility
Supportive housing later in life tends to be a key concern for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) elders. Most senior care providers are un(der)prepared to meet the needs of older LGBT adults. This study evaluated the efficacy of a 4 h, face-to-face, research-based, LGBT-diversity training designed to improve senior housing facility staff’s cultural competency regarding the needs of LGBT elders. Findings from this study found a significant increase in LGBT content knowledge between pre- and post-intervention assessments and a significant decrease in perceived preparedness when working with LGBT elders. These effects remained significant after controlling for staff designation, religion, educational attainment, and training session. Findings suggest that staff’s cultural competence affected their perceived readiness to address LGBT elders’ needs. Implications are related to the concept of cultural humility or the lifelong process of understanding others’ experiences based on the recognition of lack of un(der)preparedness to create a culturally supportive residential environment.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
Article ReferenceLatent Classes of Polysubstance Use Among Adolescents in the United States: Intersections of Sexual Identity with Sex, Age, and Race/Ethnicity
PURPOSE: We aimed to estimate latent classes of concurrent polysubstance use and test for sexual orientation differences in latent class memberships with representative data from adolescents living in 19 U.S. states. We also tested whether sex, race/ethnicity, and age moderated the sexual identity differences in polysubstance use class memberships. METHODS: We analyzed data from 119,437 adolescents from 19 states who participated in the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Latent class analysis characterized polysubstance use patterns based on self-reported frequency of lifetime and past-month use of alcohol (including heavy episodic drinking), tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco), and marijuana. Multinomial logistic regression models tested differences in latent class memberships by sexual identity. Interaction terms tested whether sex, race/ethnicity, and age moderated the sexual identity differences in polysubstance use class memberships. RESULTS: A six-class model of polysubstance use fit the data best and included nonusers (61.5%), experimental users (12.2%), marijuana-alcohol users (14.8%), tobacco-alcohol users (3.8%), medium-frequency three-substance users (3.6%), and high-frequency three-substance users (4.1%). Gay/lesbian- and bisexual-identified adolescents had significantly higher odds than heterosexual-identified adolescents of being in all of the user classes compared with the nonuser class. These sexual identity differences in latent polysubstance use class memberships were generally larger for females than for males, varied occasionally by race/ethnicity, and were sometimes larger for younger ages. CONCLUSION: Compared with their heterosexual peers, gay/lesbian and bisexual adolescents-especially females-are at heightened risk of engaging in multiple types of polysubstance use. Designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions will likely reduce these sexual orientation disparities.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Sexual Minority Health Disparities: An Examination of Age-Related Trends Across Adulthood In a National Cross-Sectional Sample
Purpose:  Sexual minorities experience signi fi cant health disparities across a variety of mental, behav ioral, and physical health indicators. Yet, an understanding of the etiology and progression of sexual minority health disparities across the lifespan is limited. Methods:  We used the U.S. National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions III to  evaluate the association between sexual minority status and seven past-year health outcomes (alcohol  use disorder, tobacco use disorder, drug use disorder, major depressive episode, generalized anxiety  disorder, sexually transmitted infection, and cardiovascular conditions). To do this, we used unadjusted  and adjusted logistic regression among our study sample (n ¼ 30,999; aged 18 e 65 years) and time- varying effect models to evaluate how sexual orientation differences in these outcomes vary across  adulthood. Results:  Relative to heterosexuals, sexual minorities had elevated odds of past-year alcohol use disorder  and drug use disorder across all ages (18 e 65 years) although the magnitude of the disparity varies by  age. Sexual minorities were also more likely to experience major depressive episode, generalized anxiety  disorder, tobacco use disorder, sexually transmitted infection, and cardiovascular disease, but only at  speci fi c ages. Conclusions:  Sexual minority health disparities vary appreciably across the adult lifespan, thus eluci dating critical periods for focused prevention efforts.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications