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Use of Mental Health Services Among College Students by Sexual Orientation

Baams, L., De Luca, S. & Brownson, C., Oct-2018, In : LGBT Health. 5, 7, p. 421-430 10 p.

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  • Use of Mental Health Services Among College Students by Sexual Orientation

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Purpose: The current study examines differences between lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning (LGBQ) students and heterosexual students in terms of counseling and mental health services received (healthcare utilization), from whom students would seek help, and who contributed positively to students' ability to cope during a stressful period.

Methods: An online survey was administered among 25,844 college students, enrolled in 76 schools (mean age = 25.52). The majority of participants was graduate students (42.81%) and reported their race/ethnicity as non-Hispanic White (70.49%).

Results: Compared with their heterosexual counterparts, gay males and lesbian/gay and bisexual females reported receiving more counseling or mental health services, most notably from counselors, therapists, psychologists, and/or social workers. Bisexual males and LGBQ females were less likely to seek help from a parent or family member compared with heterosexual males and females, respectively. Racial/ethnic minority bisexual females were less likely to seek help from a friend or roommate than non-Hispanic White bisexual females. Compared with their heterosexual counterparts, gay and questioning males and LGBQ females were more likely to report that religion reduced their ability to cope.

Conclusion: The current findings illuminate important differences by sexual orientation in terms of seeking and receiving mental health services. Although we found that lesbian/gay and bisexual college students were more likely to receive counseling and mental healthcare, we cannot ascertain whether they were satisfied with the services they received. The findings also suggest that certain groups of LGBQ students do not find support with their clergy and family, which may indicate a lack of understanding or acceptance of LGBQ issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-430
Number of pages10
JournalLGBT Health
Volume5
Issue number7
Early online date2-Oct-2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2018

    Keywords

  • CARE PROVIDERS, PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS, INSURANCE-COVERAGE, UNITED-STATES, YOUNG-ADULTS, GAY, DISPARITIES, ACCESS, TRANSGENDER, OUTCOMES
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