Single Paper or Case Study

Trauma, Sociodemographic Disparities, and Mental Health Among Bisexual People Living in Ontario, Canada

Sunday, March 25
10:50 AM - 11:10 AM
Location: Logan

Purpose: Research has indicated that bisexual people experience elevated rates of trauma, discrimination, and psychological distress compared to lesbian, gay, and heterosexual individuals; and that trauma is associated with poorer mental health. However, there is little research on the impact of trauma on bisexual individuals. The current study sought to remedy this gap by examining the relationships among trauma, sociodemographic characteristics, and mental health among bisexual people. It was hypothesized that: (1) trauma, including biphobia and discrimination, would be associated with greater depression, anxiety, posttraumatic symptoms, problematic drinking, substance use, and consideration of suicide; and (2) trauma would mediate the effects of gender and ethnicity on mental health. Methods: Data were collected from 405 bisexuals using respondent-driven sampling, and 308 participants had available data for these analyses. Structural equation models were used to test the models. Results: Trauma significantly predicted several mental health outcomes. Additionally, trauma mediated the effects of identifying as indigenous (vs. not as indigenous or as a person of colour) and as a cisgender woman (vs. as a cisgender man) on these outcomes.  Conclusions: Trauma therapists should consider the impact of abuse, biphobia, and other forms of discrimination on the mental health of bisexual clients. 

Learning Objectives:

Leah Keating

Postdoctoral Fellow
York University
Hamilton, Ontario

Dr. Leah Keating is a clinical psychologist in supervised practice, completing her postdoctoral fellowship at York University in Toronto, Canada, under the supervision of Dr. Robert Muller. Her research focuses on LGBTQ+ individuals' experiences of accessing and attending psychotherapy for psychological trauma. She completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at York University. She also works in private practice.

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