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Sexual minority status may be linked to sleep disturbance in early adolescence

Sexual minority status was associated with self-reported trouble falling or staying asleep. The association between sexual minority status and trouble falling or staying asleep was partially mediated by greater depressive problems, more family conflict, and less parental monitoring.

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LGBTQIA people, particularly the young, may have more trouble sleeping. And this may be because of SOGIESC-related concerns.

This is according to a study – “Sexual Orientation Disparities in Early Adolescent Sleep: Findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study” – was written by Jason M. Nagata, Christopher M. Lee, Joanne H. Yang, Orsolya Kiss, Kyle T. Ganson, Alexander Testa, Dylan B. Jackson, Abubakr A.A. Al-shoaibi, and Fiona C. Baker. It appeared in LGBT Health.

In this study, the researchers analyzed cross-sectional data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (Year 2, 2018–2020) to estimate associations between sexual orientation and sleep problems or disturbance, adjusting for confounders and testing potential mediators (depressive problems, stress problems, family conflict, and parental monitoring). In total, the sample included 8,563 adolescents 10- to 14-years-old, 4.4% identified as sexual minority individuals.

The researchers found:

  • Sexual minority status was associated with self-reported trouble falling or staying asleep (risk ratio and caregiver-reported sleep disturbance).
  • The association between sexual minority status and trouble falling or staying asleep was partially mediated by greater depressive problems, more family conflict, and less parental monitoring.
  • The association between sexual minority status and caregiver-reported sleep disturbance was partially mediated by greater depressive problems, higher stress, and greater family conflict.

The researchers stated that these indicate that, yes, sexual minority status may be linked to sleep disturbance in early adolescence.

“Depressive problems, stress, family conflict, and less parental monitoring partially mediate disparities in sleep health for sexual minority youth,” they stressed, adding that there is a need to “test interventions to promote family and caregiver acceptance and mental health support for sexual minority youth to improve their sleep and other health outcomes.”

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