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ERIC Number: EJ892062
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-006X
Childhood Abuse and Mental Health Indicators among Ethnically Diverse Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults
Balsam, Kimberly F.; Lehavot, Keren; Beadnell, Blair; Circo, Elizabeth
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, v78 n4 p459-468 Aug 2010
Objective: Prior research has established that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people experience higher rates of childhood abuse than heterosexuals. However, there has been little research on the mental health impact of these experiences or how race/ethnicity might influence prevalence and mental health impact of childhood abuse in this population. The study's objective was to examine the relationships between race/ethnicity, childhood abuse, and mental health indicators in a national sample of LGB adults. Method: Participants were recruited via the Internet through snowball and targeted sampling methods. Six hundred and sixty-nine LGB adults, 21% of whom were people of color, participated in an online survey. Participants completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, the Patient Health Questionnaire Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale, the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist-Civilian Version, and the Perceived Stress Scale-Short Form. Results: Latina/o and Asian American participants reported the highest levels of physical abuse (p less than 0.01), and Latina/o and African American participants reported the highest levels of sexual abuse (p less than 0.01). Childhood emotional abuse was the strongest predictor of psychopathology symptoms for all participants (ps less than 0.01). Relative to White participants, emotional abuse showed a stronger relationship with PTSD and anxiety symptoms for African American participants (ps less than 0.01), and physical abuse showed a stronger relationship with PTSD and anxiety symptoms for Latina/o participants (ps less than 0.05). Conclusions: Race/ethnicity may be an important factor when examining childhood abuse and mental health correlates among LGB populations. (Contains 2 figures, 2 footnotes and 4 tables.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A