Sexual orientation and mental health among adults in four U.S. cities

Boyoung Nam, Hyun Jin Jun, Lisa Fedina, Roma Shah, Jordan E. DeVylder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sexual minorities have higher risk for psychological distress than heterosexual populations. However, this disparity remains under-studied in urban settings, and there likewise has been minimal prior research of potential interactions with gender and race/ethnicity. The present study aimed to examine mental health correlates of sexual minority identification in conjunction with gender and race/ethnicity. A community sample of 1,615 adults from four eastern cities in the United States was used. A series of regression analyses were conducted to examine differences in psychological distress and suicidal ideation across different sexual orientation populations. The results showed that only bisexual individuals had significantly higher psychological distress and risk for suicidal ideation than heterosexual individuals even after adjusting for age and income. The associations were consistent across gender and race/ethnicity. No significant differences between homosexual and heterosexual individuals were found. Health professionals working with people of bisexual orientation in urban settings should attend to potential psychological distress and recent suicidal ideation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Bisexual
  • Mental health
  • Minority stress model
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Sexual minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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