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Mental health and sexual orientation across the life course

Willis, Paul ORCID: and Westwood, Sue 2023. Mental health and sexual orientation across the life course. Semlyen, Joanna and Rohleder, Poul, eds. Sexual Minorities and Mental Health: Current Perspectives and New Directions, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 81-106. (10.1007/978-3-031-37438-8_5)

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This chapter focuses on mental health and wellbeing at two ends of the age spectrum, comparing current cohorts of young and older LGBTQ people and their experiences of mental distress. We first consider temporal contexts and the themes of minority stress and intersectionality before then summarising the relevant research literature. Through comparing and contrasting the two sets of experiences we highlight sites of commonality and difference between younger and older LGBTQ people. Both groups experience higher rates of mental health problems than their majority peers, attributable to minority stress. Across the research literature presented is a clear message for more attention to be given to sources of social support for younger and older LGBTQ people and to accumulate more evidence of what factors (social, individual, cultural) support good mental wellbeing. Common to both groups is a predominant focus on social disadvantage and marginalisation and the adverse physical, mental and social outcomes that arise. We argue that more attention must be given to the factors that bolser the mental wellbeing of younger and older individuals—their strengths and coping practices and the community and social resources they have access to-as they navigate heterocentric and cisgendered social norms and environments.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 3031374371
Last Modified: 22 May 2024 09:47

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