Differences in mental health problems in LGBT+ first year college students in Chile during the pandemic

Marcelo A. Crockett, Vania Martínez-Nahuel*, Scarlett Mac-Ginty*, Daniel Núñez, Álvaro I. Langer, Jorge Gaete

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To examine the differences in mental health problems by sexual orientation and gender identity in first-year university students in Chile during the pandemic. Methods: 7,213 first-year students aged 18 years and older from five universities participated as part of the World Mental Health - International College Student initiative in Chile. Students completed an online self-report survey between 2020 and 2021 that included measures of lifetime and 12-month major depressive episode, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, drug abuse/dependence, alcohol dependence, non-suicidal self-injuries, and suicidal risk. Prevalence of mental health problems were estimated and the differences by sexual orientation and gender identity were examined using logistic and multinomial logistic regression models. Results: Between 84.1% and 98% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and other sexual and gender minority (LGBT+) students screened positive for at least one lifetime mental health problem and between 67.6% and 90.6% for two or more problems. For most outcomes, non-heterosexual (Odds Ratio [OR] between 1.25 and 7.00) and trans and gender nonconforming students (OR between 1.72 and 5.81) had significantly higher odds of positive screening for lifetime mental health problems than heterosexual and cisgender students, respectively. Similar results were observed for 12-month mental health problems. Conclusion: The results show differences in the prevalence of mental health problems in LGBT+ university students in Chile, which are consistent with those found in other countries. These results may be useful for planning interventions to improve the mental health of LGBT+ students.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • College students
  • LGBT
  • Mental disorders
  • Non-suicidal self-injuries
  • Suicide


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