Honors Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2018

Document Type



Stallworth, Grace. Mechanisms for Mental Health Status Differences Between Sexual Minorities and Heterosexuals. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2018.


Copyright Grace Stallworth 2018


The purpose of this project is to identify differences in mental health at the intersection of gender and sexual minority status. Specifically, I examine differences in psychological distress and problematic drinking across four groups: sexual minority women, heterosexual women, sexual minority men, and heterosexual men. Using Waves I and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), it was found that sexual minority young adults report more problematic drinking than heterosexuals. Within gender, it was determined that women problem drink less than men. For psychological distress, sexual minority young adults report significantly more distress than heterosexual young adults. Across gender, it was also found that women report significantly more psychological distress as well. Analyses were also conducted to determine how social support and stressors mediate the relationship between gender, sexuality, and distress and alcohol abuse.