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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp e296–e305 | Cite as

Characterizing non-monosexual women at risk for poor mental health outcomes: A mixed methods study

  • Lori E. RossEmail author
  • Melissa H. Manley
  • Abbie E. Goldberg
  • Alia Januwalla
  • Keisha Williams
  • Corey E. Flanders
Qualitative Research
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Non-monosexual women - those who report attraction to or sexual relationships with individuals of more than one gender - have elevated risk for poor mental health outcomes. We aimed to examine which elements of non-monosexual experience are associated with this elevated risk.

METHODS: We conducted a sequential exploratory mixed methods analysis of qualitative interview and survey data from 39 non-monosexual women recruited consecutively through prenatal care providers. Qualitative analyses identified distinguishing features, and quantitative analyses tested associations between these features and mental health symptoms.

RESULTS: Nine qualitative themes were identified to describe distinguishing features of non-monosexual women. Of these, current and past five years partner gender, lack of LGBTQ community connection, and low centrality of sexual minority identity were associated with anxiety symptoms. Latent class analysis revealed significantly higher levels of anxiety symptoms among non-monosexual women partnered with men relative to those partnered with women.

CONCLUSION: Sexual minority women who partner with men may be particularly at risk for poor mental health. Considering this group’s invisibility in public health research and practice, interventions are needed to address this disparity.

Key Words

Bisexuality mental health qualitative research questionnaire design 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS: Les femmes non monosexuelles–celles qui disent ressentir de l’attirance pour plus d’un sexe ou avoir des relations sexuelles avec des hommes et des femmes–courent un plus grand risque de présenter des problèmes de santé mentale. Nous avons voulu déterminer quels éléments de l’expérience non monosexuelle sont associés à ce risque plus élevé.

MÉTHODE: Nous avons mené une analyse séquentielle exploratoire à méthodes mixtes à partir des données d’entretiens qualitatifs et d’enquêtes auprès de 39 femmes non monosexuelles recrutées successivement par l’entremise de dispensateurs de soins prénatals. Une analyse qualitative a permis de cerner leurs traits distinctifs, et une analyse quantitative a servi à tester les associations entre ces traits et des symptômes de maladie mentale.

RÉSULTATS: Nous avons dégagé neuf thèmes qualitatifs pour décrire les traits distinctifs des femmes non monosexuelles. De ces thèmes, le sexe des partenaires actuels et des partenaires des cinq dernières années, l’absence de liens avec la communauté LGBT+ et la faible centralité de l’identité de minorité sexuelle étaient associés à des symptômes d’anxiété. Une analyse de structure latente a mis au jour des niveaux sensiblement plus élevés de symptômes d’anxiété chez les femmes non monosexuelles en couple avec des hommes que chez celles qui étaient en couple avec des femmes.

CONCLUSION: Les femmes membres de minorités sexuelles qui sont en couple avec des hommes peuvent être particulièrement vulnérables aux problèmes de santé mentale. Étant donné l’invisibilité de ce groupe dans la recherche et la pratique en santé publique, des interventions s’imposent pour aborder la disparité constatée.

Mots Clés

bisexualité santé mentale recherche qualitative conception de questionnaires 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lori E. Ross
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Melissa H. Manley
    • 3
  • Abbie E. Goldberg
    • 3
  • Alia Januwalla
    • 1
  • Keisha Williams
    • 1
  • Corey E. Flanders
    • 4
  1. 1.Social and Behavioural Health Sciences Division, Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Institute for Mental Health Policy ResearchCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyClark UniversityWorcesterUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychology and EducationMount Holyoke CollegeSouth HadleyUSA

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