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Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) civilians report higher rates of sexual assault, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression compared to their heterosexual counterparts. In this study, we compared military sexual assault (MSA), PTSD, and depression in LGB individuals and their non-LGB peers in two community samples of veterans (N = 2,583). Participants were selected for inclusion if they identified as LGB (n = 110) and were matched 1 to 3 on gender and age with non-LGB veterans (n = 330). Chi-square analyses showed significant differences for LGB veterans compared to non-LGB veterans for experiencing MSA (32.7% vs. 16.4%, respectively), p < .001; probable PTSD (41.2% vs. 29.8%, respectively), p = .039; and probable depression (47.9% vs. 36.0%, respectively), p = .039. Multivariable logistic regression analyses showed LGB veterans were 1.93 times more likely to have experienced MSA compared to non-LGB veterans, 95% CI [1.30, 2.88], p = .001. The experience of MSA significantly mediated associations with probable PTSD, odds ratio (OR) = 1.43, 95% CI [1.13, 1.80], p = .003, and probable depression, OR = 1.32, 95% CI [1.07, 1.64], p = .009. As the experience of MSA fully mediates the presence of PTSD and depression among LGB veterans, we highly recommend health providers assess for MSA among LGB veterans, especially those who meet clinical thresholds for PTSD and depression.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of traumatic stress
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