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PTSD and Sexual Orientation: An Examination of Criterion A1 and Non-criterion A1 Events


This study compares posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prevalence among White, Black, and Latino LGB individuals with heterosexuals. The study used both the criteria for PTSD in  the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–IV;) and relaxed criteria that included additional qualifying events for PTSD such as ending a relationship, unemployment, homelessness, and separation from parents.

The study found no significant difference in PTSD prevalence using either the DSM–IV or the relaxed criteria between LGB individuals and heterosexuals. Compared with White LGBs, Black and Latino LGBs had higher prevalence of PTSD under the relaxed criteria, but this was only statistically significant only for Latinos

Overall, the study found that participants reporting one of the qualifying events not currently included in the DSM, such as ending a relationship and unemployment, were more likely than those reporting events currently included to have symptoms diagnosable as PTSD, suggesting that these additional qualifying events should be added for PTSD.

The report was published in the American Psychological Association affiliated journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.

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