Mental Health Characteristics of Sexual Minority Veterans

Bryan N. Cochran, Kimberly Balsam, Annesa Flentje, Carol A. Malte, Tracy Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


This study examines the mental health characteristics of sexual minority (lesbian, gay, and bisexual, or LGB) veterans, compared these characteristics to those of an existing Veterans Affairs (VA) sample, and examined the relationship between mental health and anxiety around concealment of LGB identity while in the military. Data regarding LGB veterans' (n = 409) military experiences and current mental health were collected via an online survey; comparison data (n = 15,000) were retrieved from a VA data warehouse. LGB veterans were more likely to screen positive for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and alcohol problems than the comparison sample. Anxiety around concealment of one's sexual orientation while in the service was related to current depression and PTSD symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-435
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2013


This research was funded in part by a grant from the Palm Center at the University of Santa Barbara, California. Address correspondence to Bryan N. Cochran, SB #143, Department of Psychology, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, USA. E-mail:

FundersFunder number
University of California at Santa Barbara


    • DADT
    • LGBT
    • military policy
    • military trauma
    • sexual orientation
    • veterans


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