Understanding Alcohol and Marijuana Use among Sexual Minority Women during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Descriptive Phenomenological Study

Lauren A. Bochicchio, Laurie A. Drabble, Ellen D.B. Riggle, Cat Munroe, Angie R. Wootton, Tonda L. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sexual minority women (SMW; e.g., lesbian, bisexual, queer) are at increased risk for heavy/hazardous drinking and marijuana use, which may be exacerbated by stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to mitigate its spread (e.g., sheltering at home). To explore their experiences and perceptions of alcohol and marijuana use in the context of COVID-19, qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with a diverse sample of 16 SMW from a longitudinal study who previously reported being at least moderate drinkers to explore their experiences and perceptions of alcohol and marijuana use during the pandemic. We used descriptive phenomenological analysis to explore data from the interviews. Participants described how their alcohol/marijuana use intersected with the complex and changing context of the pandemic, revealing four themes: 1) losing and creating routine; 2) seeking recreation and relief; 3) connecting, reconnecting, and disconnecting; and 4) monitoring alcohol and marijuana use boundaries. Findings highlight the importance of fostering community supports and possible interventions informed by the experiences of SMW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-646
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Volume68
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
for this project is from the Columbia University School of Nursing discretionary fund. Drs. Bochicchio and Hughes are currently supported by [R01 AA013328-13] (PI: T. Hughes) National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Dr. Drabble is currently supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse under Award Number [R01DA036606] (K. Trocki and L. Drabble, M-PIs) and Cat Munroe is supported through the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s training grant [T32AA007240 (PI: S. Zemore) and center grant P50AA005595 (PR: W. K. Kerr)]. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or Columbia University. The authors would like to thank Kelly Martin, University of Chicago Illinois, for help with study planning and recruitment.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Covid-19
  • Sexual minority women
  • alcohol use
  • hazardous drinking
  • marijuana use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Psychology (all)

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