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New Learning Hub case study explores health inequalities and sexual orientation

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A couple hold hands in front of a LGBTQ+ flagA new research case study showcasing what longitudinal population studies can tell us about how health inequalities can differ by sexual orientation has been added to the CLOSER Learning Hub.

The case study examines research investigating the health inequalities experienced by members of different sexual minority groups and heterosexuals. The researchers, based at the University of Essex Institute for Social and Economic Research, used data from Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Study to explore the topic. 

The research found that those who identified as heterosexual reported better health outcomes compared to those who identified as members of a sexual minority group. Those who identified as bisexual reported the worst health outcomes. 

Like all the Learning Hub research case studies, this latest addition presents the information in an easy-to-follow format, summarising the research questions asked, the data used, key findings, a discussion of the advantages and challenges of using longitudinal data, and implications for policy. 

CLOSER’s Learning Hub features a range of research case studies including several looking at cross-study research: 

  • Childhood environment and adult mental well-being: Researchers used harmonised data from three longitudinal population studies to investigate the effect of family socioeconomic circumstances, child-parent relationships, family stability and parental health in childhood on subsequent mental well-being in adulthood. 
  • The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health: Explores how depression, anxiety and mental well-being has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Using harmonised data from two longitudinal population studies, it identifies the characteristics of those most at-risk of mental ill-health during the pandemic. 
  • The rise of the obesity epidemic: Researchers used harmonised data from five longitudinal population studies to explore how weight gain over the life course has changed for different generations. 

Other case studies focus on social media and adolescent wellbeing, ethnic differences in unemployment, pre-adolescent alcohol consumption, children of immigrants’ cognitive achievement, Britain’s mobility problem, and the scarring effects of childhood bullying 

CLOSER’s Learning Hub is a free, online educational resource which helps those new to longitudinal population studies – including students, researchers and policy makers – better understand the value of these studies and how to use them.

In addition to research case studies, the Hub features detailed learning modules, teaching datasets, interactive quizzes and animations which all combine to build and enhance users’ knowledge of longitudinal population studies and the wealth of data they provide.   

Further information