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Theses and Dissertations

The Relationship of Sexual Orientation and Depression Open Access


Other title
Mental Health
Sexual Minority
Sexual Orientation
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Scott, Roger L
Supervisor and department
Norris, Colleen (Faculty of Nursing)
Lasiuk, Gerri (Faculty of Nursing)
Examining committee member and department
Hunter, Kathleen (Faculty of Nursing)
Wells, Kristopher (Institute for Sexual Minority Studies)
Hegadoren, Katherine (Faculty of Nursing)
Park, Tanya (Faculty of Nursing)
Saewyc, Elizabeth (University of British Columbia School of Nursing)
Faculty of Nursing
Date accepted
Graduation date
2016-06:Fall 2016
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Depression a disabling chronic illness that crosses borders, cultures, and elements of society. It is well known that there are a number of risk factors for depression including younger age, racial minority status, female sex, presence of substance abuse disorders, chronic illness, and lower socio-economic status. Sexual minorities have been identified as being another group at higher risk for depression, but there have been methodological issues with much of the existing research on sexual orientation and depression. In this work, methodological issues such as grouping different mental illnesses, failing to differentiate by sex, and failing to differentiate by sexual orientation have been overcome to describe the relationship between sexual orientation and depression. Three population representative samples were analyzed using regression techniques to examine the relationship of depression and sexual orientation. The results were combined with existing literature in a meta-analysis. The findings were that overall lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals do not have higher prevalence of depression than heterosexuals. There were three important findings: 1) heterosexual identified men who have same-sex activity have highest risk for depression, 2) gay men may have lower risk for depression than heterosexual men, and 3) gay men in the Canadian Armed Forces differ from civilian counterparts with higher prevalence of depression. This work adds to the existing literature on mental health in sexual minority populations. Further research is needed to examine other mental health disorders and to identify differences in risks based on more complex measures of sexual orientation.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
Citation for previous publication
Scott, R.L., Lasiuk, G., & Norris, C.M. (2016). The relationship between sexual orientation and depression in a national population sample. Journal of Clinical Nursing. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/jocn.13286Scott, R.L., Lasiuk, G., & Norris, C.M. (2016). Sexual orientation and depression in Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health, In press.Scott, R.L., Lasiuk, G., & Norris, C.M. (2016). Depression in lesbian, gay and bisexual members of the Canadian Armed Forces. LGBT Health, Advance online publication. doi:10.1089/lgbt.2016.0050

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