COVID-19 and Changes in Alcohol Use Among Sexual and Gender Minority University Students
This study examined the associations between changes in alcohol use since the start of COVID-19 and mental distress among sexual and gender minority (SGM) university students in the U.S., and explored sex-stratified differences. A nonprobability cross-sectional sample of 509 SGM university students were retrospectively surveyed online between May–August 2020 and asked if their alcohol use had changed since the start of COVID-19. Roughly 32 percent had increased alcohol use since the start of COVID-19, which was associated with higher psychological distress among SGM university students, and among females but not males assigned at birth. Higher education, medical, and behavioral health professionals should consider how to adapt their practice to address alcohol use and psychological burdens among SGM university students (especially females) who are facing health inequities during and beyond COVID-19, requiring SGM-affirmative care.
This paper, “Changes in alcohol use since the onset of COVID-19 are associated with psychological distress among sexual and gender minority university students in the U.S,” was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.