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Psychological distress and domestic violence under COVID-19 lockdown in LGBT+ persons in Belgium, Germany, and Portugal

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Abstract
Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments worldwide issued lockdown and social-distancing measures, which triggers psychological distress and may increase the occurrence of domestic violence (DV). We examined the role of the LGBT+ status in the relationship between risk factors of DV and its occurrence during the pandemic. Methods: In this cross-sectional study (n = 5,148), an online self-report questionnaire was administered to a non-probabilistic sample of participants living in Belgium, Germany, and Portugal between March and June 2020. Participants were sampled through national media, social media, and snowballing procedures. Results: LGBT+ persons reported significantly higher levels of perceived stress, more acute stress symptoms, and more illegal drug use during the first weeks of the lockdown compared to non-LGBT+ persons. DV in LGBT+ persons was not more prevalent than in the non-LGBT under COVID-19 lockdown measures. No significant evidence was found indicating that identifying as LGBT+ itself increases the risk of DV exposure. Conclusion: LGBT+ persons were more at risk of DV compared to non-LGBT+ persons prior to but not during COVID-19 lockdown measures. The increased risk for DV can be linked to socio-demographic characteristics, levels of stress, and illegal drug use which are more prevalent in LGBT+ persons than in non-LGBT+ persons.
Keywords
General Psychology, sexual and gender based violence, public health, COVID-19 pandemic, LGBT, domestic violence

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MLA
De Schrijver, Lotte, et al. “Psychological Distress and Domestic Violence under COVID-19 Lockdown in LGBT+ Persons in Belgium, Germany, and Portugal.” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY OPEN, vol. 82, no. 4, Hogrefe Publishing Group, 2023, pp. 157–69, doi:10.1024/2673-8627/a000049.
APA
De Schrijver, L., Fomenko, L., Schuster, I., Tomaszewska, P., Dias, S., & Keygnaert, I. (2023). Psychological distress and domestic violence under COVID-19 lockdown in LGBT+ persons in Belgium, Germany, and Portugal. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY OPEN, 82(4), 157–169. https://doi.org/10.1024/2673-8627/a000049
Chicago author-date
De Schrijver, Lotte, Lisa Fomenko, Isabell Schuster, Paulina Tomaszewska, Sonia Dias, and Ines Keygnaert. 2023. “Psychological Distress and Domestic Violence under COVID-19 Lockdown in LGBT+ Persons in Belgium, Germany, and Portugal.” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY OPEN 82 (4): 157–69. https://doi.org/10.1024/2673-8627/a000049.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Schrijver, Lotte, Lisa Fomenko, Isabell Schuster, Paulina Tomaszewska, Sonia Dias, and Ines Keygnaert. 2023. “Psychological Distress and Domestic Violence under COVID-19 Lockdown in LGBT+ Persons in Belgium, Germany, and Portugal.” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY OPEN 82 (4): 157–169. doi:10.1024/2673-8627/a000049.
Vancouver
1.
De Schrijver L, Fomenko L, Schuster I, Tomaszewska P, Dias S, Keygnaert I. Psychological distress and domestic violence under COVID-19 lockdown in LGBT+ persons in Belgium, Germany, and Portugal. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY OPEN. 2023;82(4):157–69.
IEEE
[1]
L. De Schrijver, L. Fomenko, I. Schuster, P. Tomaszewska, S. Dias, and I. Keygnaert, “Psychological distress and domestic violence under COVID-19 lockdown in LGBT+ persons in Belgium, Germany, and Portugal,” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY OPEN, vol. 82, no. 4, pp. 157–169, 2023.
@article{01HPKM4K5VJCYZMX5TJ9WQXR74,
  abstract     = {{Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments worldwide issued lockdown and social-distancing measures, which triggers psychological distress and may increase the occurrence of domestic violence (DV). We examined the role of the LGBT+ status in the relationship between risk factors of DV and its occurrence during the pandemic. Methods: In this cross-sectional study (n = 5,148), an online self-report questionnaire was administered to a non-probabilistic sample of participants living in Belgium, Germany, and Portugal between March and June 2020. Participants were sampled through national media, social media, and snowballing procedures. Results: LGBT+ persons reported significantly higher levels of perceived stress, more acute stress symptoms, and more illegal drug use during the first weeks of the lockdown compared to non-LGBT+ persons. DV in LGBT+ persons was not more prevalent than in the non-LGBT under COVID-19 lockdown measures. No significant evidence was found indicating that identifying as LGBT+ itself increases the risk of DV exposure. Conclusion: LGBT+ persons were more at risk of DV compared to non-LGBT+ persons prior to but not during COVID-19 lockdown measures. The increased risk for DV can be linked to socio-demographic characteristics, levels of stress, and illegal drug use which are more prevalent in LGBT+ persons than in non-LGBT+ persons.}},
  author       = {{De Schrijver, Lotte and Fomenko, Lisa and Schuster, Isabell and Tomaszewska, Paulina and Dias, Sonia and Keygnaert, Ines}},
  issn         = {{2673-8627}},
  journal      = {{EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY OPEN}},
  keywords     = {{General Psychology,sexual and gender based violence,public health,COVID-19 pandemic,LGBT,domestic violence}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{4}},
  pages        = {{157--169}},
  publisher    = {{Hogrefe Publishing Group}},
  title        = {{Psychological distress and domestic violence under COVID-19 lockdown in LGBT+ persons in Belgium, Germany, and Portugal}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.1024/2673-8627/a000049}},
  volume       = {{82}},
  year         = {{2023}},
}

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