Evidence suggests that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and other gender and sexual minorities (LGBTQ+) may experience heightened mental health disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since long periods of confinement and physical restriction due to disease outbreaks can adversely affect mental health, there is a need to explore their effects among LGBTQ+ youth as society recovers from the pandemic.
This study determined the longitudinal association between depression and life satisfaction trajectory from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to pandemic-induced community quarantine in 2022 among young LGBTQ+ students.
This study surveyed 384 conveniently sampled youths (18–24 years old) who identify as LGBTQ+ from locales under two-year-long community quarantine in the Philippines. Respondents’ life satisfaction trajectory was measured for 2020, 2021, and 2022. Post-quarantine depression was measured using the Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.
One out of four respondents has depression. Those from less than high-income households had a higher risk for depression. Repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that those with more pronounced improvements in life satisfaction throughout and after community quarantine among respondents have a lower risk of depression.
Life satisfaction trajectory can influence the risk for depression among young LGBTQ+ students during extended periods of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, there is a need to improve their living conditions as society reemerges from the pandemic. Likewise, additional support should be given to LGBTQ+ students from lower-income households. Moreover, continuous monitoring of LGBTQ+ youths’ life conditions and mental health post-quarantine is recommended.