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27-09-2016 | Uitgave 4/2017

Quality of Life Research 4/2017

Dating violence, quality of life and mental health in sexual minority populations: a path analysis

Tijdschrift:
Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 4/2017
Auteurs:
Janet Yuen-Ha Wong, Edmond Pui-Hang Choi, Herman Hay-Ming Lo, Wendy Wong, Jasmine Hin-Man Chio, Anna Wai-Man Choi, Daniel Yee-Tak Fong

Abstract

Purpose

Theories explaining the impact of intimate partner violence (IPV) on mental health have focused on heterosexual relationships. It is unclear whether mental health disparities between heterosexual and sexual minority people are due to IPV or factors related to sexual orientation. The present study aimed to investigate pathways of how sexual orientation influenced quality of life and mental health.

Methods

The present cross-sectional study was conducted in 1076 young adults in a university population (934 heterosexual and 142 sexual minority groups). Structural equation modelling was used to examine the pathways of sexual orientation, dating violence, sexual orientation concealment, quality of life and mental health (perceived stress, anxiety and depression).

Results

After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, quality of life in sexual minority people was poorer [estimate −2.82, 95 % confidence interval (CI) −4.77 to −0.86, p = 0.005], and stress (estimate 2.77, 95 % CI 1.64–3.92, p < 0.0001), anxiety (estimate 1.84, 95 % CI 1.13–2.56, p < 0.0001) and depression levels (estimate 0.62, 95 % CI 0.05–1.2, p < 0.0001) were higher than in heterosexual people. Dating violence and sexual orientation concealment were mediators, with the models showing a good fit.

Conclusion

Our study has progressed investigation of the link between sexual orientation and quality of life and mental health in the Chinese context. It has helped identify health disparities between heterosexual and sexual minority people and determined specific factors affecting their quality of life and mental health.

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