Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Jeralynn S Cossman

Committee Co-Chair

Lisa M Dilks

Committee Member

Joshua M Woods


This paper examines the combined influence of racial minority and sexual minority statuses on the health outcomes of US military veterans. I describe the effect of multiple minority statuses on reported health indicators from a nationally representative survey instrument. The data used for this study comes from 20 US states which elected to include an optional, but standardized, module on sexual orientation as part of the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and 21 US states which elected to use that same module in the 2015 BRFSS. The sample of analysis contains 35,163 respondents who identified as US military veterans, of whom 3,135 are female, 5,763 are racial minorities, and 910 are sexual minorities. Respondents are described by their self-reported health on a standardized survey question administered in the BRFSS survey instrument, and by demographic control variables for age, education, and income. This study is informed by and will contribute to the existing literature of intersectionality and minority stress, which predicts interaction effects among the negative associations of disadvantaged statuses. For this study, relevant subsamples of minority respondents are analyzed and the association of their minority statuses are compared for interaction effects on self-reported health; e.g., female sexual minority veterans (n=193), non-White female veterans (n=911).