Context matters: Minority stress and mental health experiences of diverse LGBTQ people

Brandon L. Velez, David Zelaya, Jillian Scheer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

3 Scopus citations


This chapter reviews research documenting mental health disparities between LGBTQ populations and their heterosexual and/or cisgender peers. Specifically, LGBTQ people are at greater risk of developing mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders and suicidality. Such disparities are interpreted from the perspectives of minority stress theory, syndemics theory, and intersectionality. Minority stress theory posits that societal heterosexism and cissexism produce social stress that precipitates mental health concerns among LGBTQ people. Syndemics theory holds that multiple, co-occurring conditions (e.g., trauma, substance use, depression, HIV) health conditions synergistically enhance risk and worsen functioning among LGBTQ populations. Intersectionality as an analytic perspective emphasizes that other systems of oppression-such as racism, classism, or sexism-co-occur with heterosexism and cissexism and work in tandem with them to shape the experiences and functioning of diverse LGBTQ people. This chapter also briefly describes interventions designed to improve the mental health of LGBTQ people, as well as the strengths and protective factors among LGBTQ populations. The chapter closes with a clinical case vignette that illustrates the themes of the chapter, as well as a brief discussion that explicitly identifies how those themes operate in the vignette.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationQueer Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationIntersectional Perspectives
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783030741464
ISBN (Print)9783030741457
StatePublished - Nov 18 2021


  • Bisexual and transgender
  • Discrimination
  • Gay
  • Heterosexism
  • Intersectionality
  • Lesbian
  • Mental health
  • Minority stress
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


Dive into the research topics of 'Context matters: Minority stress and mental health experiences of diverse LGBTQ people'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this