COVID-19 Stress and Sexual Identities

Wendy D. Manning, Claire M. Kamp Dush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has disrupted lives and resulted in high levels of stress. Although the evidence at the societal level is clear, there have been no population-based studies of pandemic-based stress focusing on individuals who identify as sexual minorities. Drawing on representative data collected during the pandemic, National Couples’ Health and Time Study, the authors find that partnered (cohabiting or married) individuals who identified as sexual minorities experienced higher levels of stress than individuals who identified as heterosexual. However, variation exists observed among sexual minority adults. Although economic resources, discrimination, social and community support, and health conditions are tied to reported stress levels, they do not explain differentials according to sexual identity. These results provide evidence that sexual minority adults faced greater stress during the pandemic and the importance of recognizing that sexual minorities are not a monolithic group with varying stress responses to the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by grants from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01HD094081) and also benefited from support provided by the Center for Family and Demographic Research (P2CHD050959) at Bowling Green State University and the Minnesota Population Center (P2CHD041023) at the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • COVID-19
  • gay or lesbian identity
  • pandemic
  • sexual minority
  • stress

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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