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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 Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Diverse community contexts and community resources for sexual and gender minority youth: A mixed-methods study
Abstract Sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth face marginalization and oppression on the basis of their SGM identity, and they often lack traditional support systems to deal with these minority stressors. SGM community resources may alleviate the impact of the stressors that SGM youth face, but these have not been studied in relation to the size and climate of SGM youth's communities. This mixed-methods study examined the relationship between community size and the climate toward SGM individuals and the availability and utilization of SGM community resources. Survey findings indicate that nonmetropolitan communities were associated with less availability and utilization; hostile communities were associated with lower availability only. Interview findings reveal nuanced complexities on the relationship between community and resource provision. Implications for future research and community practice are discussed.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Sexual Minority-related Discrimination across the Life Course: Findings from a National Sample of Adults in the United States
In the United States, sexual minority (SM) status is associated with a number of health disparities. Based on mounting evidence, stigma and discrimination have been cited as key barriers to health equity for this population. We estimated the prevalence of three types of discrimination as a function of age among SM adults from the National Epidemiological Study of Alcohol Use and Related Conditions III (NESARC-III) (2012–2013). Among SM adults, reports of past-year general discrimination, victimization, and healthcare discrimination varied by age, with peaks in early adulthood and again in midlife. Age trends varied by biological sex, with males experiencing significantly more general discrimination, victimization, and healthcare discrimination at specific ages. Age trends also varied by sexual identity, as LGB-identifying SMs were significantly more likely to experience all forms of discrimination across all ages. Policies preventing homophobic discrimination and victimization are necessary given the pervasiveness of these experiences across adulthood.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
Article ReferenceSexual Orientation-Related Disparities in High-Intensity Binge Drinking: Findings from a Nationally Representative Sample
Abstract Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess sexual orientation differences in high-intensity binge drinking using nationally representative data. Methods: Data were from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions III (N = 36,309), a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults collected in 2012–2013. Sex-stratified adjusted logistic regression models were used to test sexual orientation differences in the prevalence of standard (4+ for women and 5+ for men) and high-intensity binge drinking (8+ and 12+ for women; 10+ and 15+ for men) across three dimensions of sexual orientation: sexual attraction, sexual behavior, and sexual identity. Results: Sexual minority women, whether defined on the basis of sexual attraction, behavior, or identity, were more likely than sexual majority women to engage in high-intensity binge drinking at two (adjusted odds ratios [aORs] ranging from 1.52 to 2.90) and three (aORs ranging from 1.61 to 3.27) times the standard cutoff for women (4+). Sexual minority men, depending on sexual orientation dimension, were equally or less likely than sexual majority men to engage in high-intensity binge drinking. Conclusion: This study is the first to document sexual orientation-related disparities in high-intensity binge drinking among adults in the United States using nationally representative data. The results suggest that differences in alcohol-related risk among sexual minority individuals vary depending on sex and sexual orientation dimension.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Cigarette Smoking Among Youth at the Intersection of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Abstract Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify subgroups of sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth who are most vulnerable to tobacco use. Methods: We analyzed data from a national nonprobability sample of 11,192 SGM youth (ages 13–17). Age of cigarette initiation and current use were modeled using Cox proportional hazard and binomial regression. Sexual and gender identities were explanatory variables and the models were adjusted for ethnoracial identity and age. Results: Approximately 7\% of the sample reported current smoking. Cisgender and transgender boys had higher odds of current smoking compared with cisgender and transgender girls (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.86; 95\% confidence interval [CI]: 1.56–2.21). Pansexual-identified youth had higher odds of smoking (AOR = 1.33; 95\% CI: 1.05–1.70) compared with gay/lesbian youth independent of gender identity. Pansexual-identified cisgender boys had the highest smoking prevalence (21.6\%). Predicted probabilities were higher among transgender boys across all sexual identities, except asexual. The hazard of smoking at a younger age was greater for transgender boys compared with cisgender boys (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] = 1.67; 95\% CI: 1.43–1.94) as well as for bisexual (AHR = 1.12; 95\% CI: 1.01–1.24) and pansexual (AHR = 1.17; 95\% CI: 1.03–1.33) youth compared with those who identified as gay or lesbian. Conclusions: These findings suggest that transgender boys may be at higher risk for early and current cigarette use regardless of their sexual identity, whereas smoking varied more widely for youth across different sexual identities. The findings suggest that specific subgroups of SGM youth require focused attention in tobacco control research and practice.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Sexual Minority Youth, Social Change, and Health: A Developmental Collision
Few societal attitudes and opinions have changed as quickly as those regarding sexual minority people and rights. In the context of dramatic social change, there have been multiple policy changes toward social inclusion and rights for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people, and perceptions that the sociocultural context for LGB people—perhaps particularly for youth—has improved. Yet recent evidence from the developmental sciences points to paradoxical findings: in many cases there have been growing rather than shrinking health disparities. The authors suggest that there is a developmental collision between normative adolescent developmental processes and sexual minority youth identities and visibility.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)The Impact of Community Size, Community Climate, and Victimization on the Physical and Mental Health of SGM Youth
Sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth experience high rates of victimization leading to health disparities. Community size and community climate are associated with health outcomes among SGM youth; however, we lack studies that include them as covariates alongside victimization to understand their collective impact on health. This study utilized minority stress theory to understand how community context shapes experiences of victimization and health among SGM youth. SGM youth in one Midwestern U.S. state completed an online survey ( n = 201) with measures of physical health, mental health, community context, and victimization. Data were analyzed via multiple regression using a path analysis framework. Results indicate that perceived climate was associated with mental, but not physical, health; Community size was unrelated to health outcomes. Victimization mediated the association between community climate and mental health. Findings are discussed in light of current literature and implications for research and practice are shared.
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications