Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 499–510 | Cite as

Mental Health Status of Double Minority Adolescents: Findings from National Cross-Sectional Health Surveys

  • Szu-Ying Chiang
  • Theresa Fleming
  • Mathijs Lucassen
  • John Fenaughty
  • Terryann Clark
  • Simon Denny
Original Paper


Little population-based work has been published about the mental health of adolescents with both sexual/gender (SG) and ethnic minority (i.e. double minority) status. This study aimed to provide an overview on their mental health. Analysis of data from a total of 17,607 high school students from New Zealand’s 2007 and 2012 cross-sectional nationally representative Adolescent Health Surveys, including a total of 1306 (7.4%) SG minority participants, of whom 581 (3.3%) were also an ethnic minority. SG minority status, minority ethnicity, and female sex were associated with higher mental distress and poorer well-being. Generally speaking, double minority students reported poorer mental health than SG majority students of the same ethnicity, but reported better mental health than SG minority New Zealand European students. Explanations and future directions for research were suggested to further explore how double minority students negotiate mental health in the context of their communities/cultures in New Zealand.


Ethnic minority Intersectionality Youth/adolescence LGBT Mental health 



We did not receive any specific grant from a pubic, commercial, or non-profit agency. This research was solely funded by a University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship. Youth’12 was funded by the Ministries of Youth Development, Social Development, Justice, Health, Department of Labour, Families Commission and the Health Promotion Agency (formerly ALAC). Youth’07 was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the Department of Labour, Families Commission, Accident Corporation of New Zealand, Sport and Recreation New Zealand, The Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand, Ministries of Youth Development, Justice and Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicit of interest

The authors are unware of any conflict of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of this paper.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in our study involving student participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics committee. Informed consent was obtained from the principal of each participating school as well as from all participating students.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Szu-Ying Chiang
    • 1
  • Theresa Fleming
    • 1
  • Mathijs Lucassen
    • 1
    • 2
  • John Fenaughty
    • 3
  • Terryann Clark
    • 4
  • Simon Denny
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Psychological MedicineUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Health and Social CareOpen UniversityMilton KeynesUK
  3. 3.Department of Counselling, Human Services and Social WorkUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  4. 4.School of NursingUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  5. 5.Department of Paediatrics, Child and Youth HealthUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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