Theses Doctoral

Multiple Minority Identities and Mental Health Service Use: A Mixed-Methods Study of Sexual and Gender Minority Young Adults of Color

Moore, Kiara

Research on mental health outcomes among racial-ethnic, sexual, and gender minority young people indicates that they may be at increased risk for service use disparities when these identity statuses intersect. However, evidence of how having multiple minority identities is related to using mental health services is lacking. This dissertation used a mixed-methods, convergent design to explore and describe relationships between intersecting minority identities and mental health service use in the experiences of 31 Black and Hispanic, sexual and gender minority young adults. Consistent with an intersectional perspective, findings indicated that mental health service use was more strongly associated with minority identities collectively than with any single minority identity, and that experiences of intersecting minority identities could facilitate, as well as hinder, mental health service use among participants. A theoretical model was revealed in which participants negotiated multiple minority identities within four dimensions related to their service use: ethnic-racial culture, intersecting identities, family, and personal identities. Results suggested provider strategies that support intersecting minority identity strengths around culture, community belonging, and self-efficacy may encourage service use and engagement with treatment.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Thesis Advisors
Lukens, Ellen
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 28, 2017