Poverty, Nonspecific Psychological Distress, and Sexual Identity among New York City Adults Open Access

Munley, Jennifer (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/k930bx366?locale=en
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Abstract


Abstract
"Poverty, Nonspecific Psychological Distress, and Sexual Identity among New York City
Adults"
Objective: To determine if the association between poverty and nonspecific
psychological distress varies by sexual identity.
Methods: Survey years 2005, 2006, and 2008 were combined from the New York City
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Community Health Survey (CHS). In total
27,153 participants responses were analyzed to determine their poverty status, sexual
identity, and experiences of psychological distress. Poverty status was dichotomized into
those living above and below 200% of the federal poverty line. Sexual identity was
dichotomized into those who reported being lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) and those
who reported being heterosexual. Using the Kessler-6 (K6) psychological distress
questionnaire, respondents were dichotomized into those who had experienced
nonspecific psychological distress in a 30 day period and those who had not experienced
psychological distress in a 30 day period. A multivariate logistic regression was
performed to determine the association between poverty and sexual identity on the
outcome variable, nonspecific psychological distress. An interaction term that combined
poverty and sexual identity was also included in the model.
Results: Almost 9% of those who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual experienced
nonspecific psychological distress in a 30 day period compared to only 6% of individuals
who identified as heterosexual. Approximately 11% of those living in poverty
experienced nonspecific psychological distress in a 30 day period compared to only 4%
of individuals not living in poverty. Racial/Ethnic sexual minorities living in poverty
were more likely than non-Hispanic White sexual minorities living in poverty to
experience nonspecific psychological distress. In particular, those who identified as
Hispanic [AOR 5.19, 95% CI 4.13-6.51] and Other [AOR 5.04, 95% CI 3.57-7.13] had
the highest likelihood of experiencing nonspecific psychological distress.
Conclusion: There are few studies that examine the association between poverty, sexual
identity, and nonspecific psychological distress. The results of this study illustrate that an
association between these variables does exist when race/ethnicity is considered. Further
research needs to address racial disparities in mental health among lesbian, gay, and
bisexual individuals, particularly those living in poverty.

Table of Contents


Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction ............................................................................................................ 1
Chapter 2 Literature Review .................................................................................................... 3

Nonspecific Psychological Distress (NPD) .................................................................................. 3
Nonspecific Psychological Distress and Race/Ethnicity .......................................................... 4
Nonspecific Psychological Distress and Age ........................................................................... 5
Nonspecific Psychological Distress and Other Health Outcomes............................................ 6

Poverty ...................................................................................................................................... 7
Poverty in New York City........................................................................................................ 9
Poverty and Nonspecific Psychological Distress ................................................................... 10
Sexual Minorities ..................................................................................................................... 10
Minority Stress Model in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations........................................ 11
Sexual Minorities and Nonspecific Psychological Distress .................................................... 12
Poverty in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations .............................................................. 12
Summary ................................................................................................................................. 13
Chapter 3 Methods ................................................................................................................ 14
Study Design ............................................................................................................................ 14
Measures................................................................................................................................. 15
Primary Dependent Variable................................................................................................ 15
Key Independent Variables .................................................................................................. 16
Other Variables of Interest .................................................................................................. 16

Statistical Analysis ................................................................................................................... 17
Chapter 4 Results................................................................................................................... 19
Sample Demographics ............................................................................................................. 19
Bivariate Analysis..................................................................................................................... 20
Multivariate Logistic Regression .............................................................................................. 20
Chapter 5 Discussion.............................................................................................................. 22
Discussion of Results ............................................................................................................... 22
Limitations............................................................................................................................... 23
Future Directions ..................................................................................................................... 25
Conclusion ............................................................................................................................... 26



References............................................................................................................................. 27
Tables.................................................................................................................................... 31

Table 1: Sample Characteristics ............................................................................................... 31
Table 2: Bivariate Analysis for variables related to NPD .......................................................... 32
Table 3: Potential Predictors of NPD........................................................................................ 33
Table 4:Multivariate Associations between Key Covariates and NPD ...................................... 34


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