Comparison of stress and stress management strategies between lesbian and heterosexual women.

Research paper by L A LA Bernhard, J M JM Applegate

Indexed on: 04 Apr '00Published on: 04 Apr '00Published in: Health care for women international


Stress is said to be part of life, but stress may be uniquely experienced by different groups of women. We conducted this study to compare the experiences of stress and the methods of stress management used by lesbian and heterosexual women. A convenience sample of 215 (136 lesbian and 79 heterosexual) urban women was used. All women reported generally good mental health; however, more than 80% of the women reported moderate or severe stress. There were more similarities than differences between the groups, but lesbians reported more stress due to sexual identity, being female, and mental problems, and heterosexual women reported more stress due to parents and children. Both groups used a wide range of stress management strategies, although lesbians more frequently used meditation and therapy.