Exploring LGBTQ Military Service Members Stressors and Lived Experience


Name: Pedro Oblea

Rank: MAJ

Organization: Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: Womack Army Medical Center

Year Published: 2018

Abstract Status:


The absence of studies exploring the lived experiences, associated stressors, and social support of LGBTQ military service members after coming out makes this study unique and relevant. The overall goal of this study is to understand LGBTQ military service members’ lived experiences, associated stressors, and social support impacting their health and readiness. We anticipate that this study will be the beginning of a larger-scale study of the target population that could provide an initial description of the socio-demographic characteristics of LGBTQ in the military who have come out and to explore how social support could be important in the coming out process or for soldiers who have already come out. The specific aims are to 1) describe the sociodemographic characteristics of LGBTQ military service members, 2) identify the stressors experienced by LGBTQ military service members, 3) identify the levels of social support experienced by LGBTQ militaryservice members, 4) examine the relationship between minority stress and social support among LGBTQ military service members, and 5) determine if stress levels in LGBTQ military service members in response to coming out are associated with levels of social support. This study will employ a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design. This simple descriptive design includes two consecutive phases of data collection using quantitative and qualitative methods. The overall rationale for employing this mixed-methods sequential explanatory design is that the administration, collection, and analysis of quantitative data will provide a general understanding of the coming out process, stress facing minorities, and social support for LGBTQ service members in the U.S. military. The subsequent qualitative data collection and analysis will provide a more indepth explanation and augmentation of the quantitative results. The sample participants for this research will include approximately 30 LGBTQ service members in the U.S. military. The military status of these service members may be active-duty, reservist, or National Guard from all branches of the U.S. military: Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard. Findings from this study will provide important information about LGBTQ service members, who have traditionally been an underserved population in the military. As LGBTQ service members in the military are becoming more common, it is essential to understand common stressors and levels of social support associated with the lived experiences of this minority population. The long-term goal of this study is to assist policymakers in designing appropriate healthcare for all members of the military and their families, including the LGBTQ community.