Richard Bränström

Richard Bränström
Karolinska Institutet | KI · Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychology

PhD, Associate Professor

About

106
Publications
15,021
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,960
Citations
Citations since 2016
61 Research Items
2243 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
Introduction
Richard Bränström is an associate professor at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychology, Karolinska Institutet. His research explores how social, psychological and contextual factors influence the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. In this research, he uses both social epidemiological, psychological, and socio-ecological models to understand the influence of stigma and discrimination on physical and mental health disparities based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Additional affiliations
September 2012 - present
Karolinska Institutet
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2008 - August 2012
Karolinska Institutet
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2007 - August 2008
University of California, San Francisco
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (106)
Article
Full-text available
Background Sexual minority men are at greater risk of depression and suicidality than heterosexuals. Stigma, the most frequently hypothesized risk factor for this disparity, operates across socioecological levels-structural (e.g., laws), interpersonal (e.g., discrimination), and individual (e.g., self-stigma). However, there is limited data on whet...
Article
Full-text available
Background Structural stigma toward sexual minority individuals varies widely across countries and is associated with psychosocial health outcomes. Yet, the association of changes in country-level structural stigma over time, as has recently characterized many European countries, with such outcomes is largely unknown. The current study examined the...
Article
Full-text available
Background Epidemiologic studies point to multiple health inequities among sexual minority people, but few studies have examined mortality. Some causes of death are more preventable than others, and access to prevention is theorized to follow patterns of access to social and material resources. The objective of this study is to compare estimates of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Hypervigilance is often theoretically invoked as a psychological mechanism linking stigma to internalizing psychopathology among sexual minority young adults. Empirically, however, hypervigilance is rarely explicitly assessed among sexual minorities but instead commonly conflated with putatively related constructs, such as sexual orientation-relate...
Article
Objective Country-level structural stigma toward sexual minority individuals (i.e., discriminatory laws and policies and prejudicial attitudes) shows robust associations with sexual minority individuals’ mental health and individual-level stigma processes, such as identity concealment. Whether structural stigma is also associated with interpersonal...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background According to the minority stress theory, stigma affects the health of marginalized populations. Previous stigma research has focused on the health effects of individual and interpersonal stigma, paying less attention to structural factors. Laws on legal gender recognition affect the lives of transgender individuals in unique ways. The fa...
Article
Purpose: We assessed sexual orientation-related patterns in the 1-year longitudinal course (i.e., onset, remittance, persistence) and severity of suicidality. Method: Data were obtained from a prospective, population-based cohort representing nearly 2.4 million Swedish young adults. Results: A higher proportion of sexual minorities remitted (1...
Preprint
Background: Pregnancy and childbirth are significant events in many women’s lives, and the prevalence of depressive symptoms increases during this vulnerable period. Apart from well documented cognitive, affective, and somatic symptoms, depression is associated with physiological changes, such as reduced heart-rate variability (HRV) and activation...
Article
Objective: Effective Skills to Empower Effective Men (ESTEEM) represents the first intervention to address the psychological pathways through which minority stress undermines young sexual minority men's (SMM's) mental and sexual health using transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral therapy. This study compared the efficacy of ESTEEM against two existi...
Article
Introduction: Numerous studies have reported a high prevalence of suicidality among transgender individuals. Yet few studies have reported results from population-based samples, leaving open questions about the generalizability of existing findings. Factors proposed to explain transgender individuals' elevated risk of suicidality derive from sever...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In recent years, public health research has increasingly focused on identifying various risk factors purportedly leading to poor social, mental, and physical health among sexual and gender minorities (SGM). There is however, still a great paucity of research focusing on facilitators, barriers, and characteristics that may help inform the creation a...
Article
Sexual minority men are at greater risk of depression and suicidality than heterosexuals. Stigma, the most frequently hypothesized risk factor for this disparity, operates across socioecological levels-structural (e.g., laws), interpersonal (e.g., discrimination), and individual (e.g., self-stigma). Although the literature on stigma and mental heal...
Article
Full-text available
Are we affected by growing up in either female or male environment? This study examined whether girls’ and boys’ academic strengths at age 16 in verbal/language school subjects, relative to technical/numerical subjects, and cognitive demands of a chosen occupation at age 35 are influenced by having same- or opposite-sex siblings. Using representati...
Article
Full-text available
Social stressors stemming from within the gay community might render gay and bisexual men vulnerable to mental health problems. The 20-item intraminority Gay Community Stress Scale (GCSS) is a reliable measure of gay community stress, but the scale’s length limits its widespread use in sexual minority mental health research. Using three independent...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Discriminatory laws, policies, and population attitudes, surrounding transgender people vary greatly across countries, from equal protection under the law and full acceptance to lack of legal recognition and open bias. The consequences of this substantial between-country variation on transgender people’s health and well-being is poorly unde...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Maternal stress and depression in pregnancy and early parenting are associated with decreased maternal sensitivity and infant social-emotional development impairments. This randomized controlled trial explored if a Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting Program (MBCP) is more beneficial than a Lamaze program for infant’s social-emotio...
Article
Full-text available
Background Increasing evidence suggests that structural stigma (e.g. discriminatory laws, policies and population attitudes) can give rise to minority stress reactions (i.e. rejection sensitivity, internalized homophobia and identity concealment) to compromise sexual minorities’ mental health. Yet, many sexual minorities encounter divergent structu...
Article
Full-text available
Background Displaced Syrians face psychiatric morbidity often resulting from displacement-related stressors (eg, resource scarcity). Both men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women among the displaced Syrians are particularly vulnerable to mental health challenges given that they also often face stigma-related stressors (eg, discriminati...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The aim of the present study was to investigate long-term effects of Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) during pregnancy on women’s perceived stress and depressive symptoms during the first year postpartum.Methods Women (n = 193) who were pregnant with their first child and at risk for perinatal depression were randomized...
Article
Full-text available
Country-level structural stigma, defined as prejudiced population attitudes and discriminatory legislation and policies, has been suggested to compromise the wellbeing of sexual minority adults. This study explores whether and how structural stigma might be associated with sexual minorities' school-based and adulthood experiences of victimization a...
Article
Full-text available
Reducing structural drivers of intimate partner violence (IPV), including gender inequity in education, employment, and health, surrounding women worldwide represents a clear public health priority. Within countries, some women are at disproportionate risk of IPV compared to other women, including sexual minority women, immigrant women, and women i...
Article
Background Increasing evidence suggests that structural stigma (e.g., discriminatory laws, policies, and population attitudes) can give rise to minority stress reactions (i.e., rejection sensitivity, internalized homophobia, and identity concealment) to compromise sexual minorities' mental health. Yet, many sexual minorities encounter divergent str...
Article
Identity concealment affects all sexual minority individuals, with potentially complex mental health implications. Concealing a sexual minority identity can simultaneously generate the stress of hiding, protect against the stress of discrimination, and keep one apart from sexual minority communities and their norms and supports. Not surprisingly, e...
Article
Gay and bisexual men might face unique, status-based competitive pressures given that their social and sexual relationships often occur with other men, who are known to compete for social and sexual gain. In a multistage study, we delineated intraminority gay community stress theory-that status-focused elements of the gay community challenge the me...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Despite increasing legal protections and supportive attitudes toward sexual minorities (e.g., those who identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual [LGB]) in recent decades, suicidality remains more common among this population than among heterosexuals. While barriers to societal integration—or a lack of meaning, purpose, and belonging as derive...
Article
Background The national climate surrounding sexual minorities (i.e., those self-identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual [LGB]) varies greatly worldwide. Recent Cross-European studies have shown that country-level structural stigma is a strong determinant of sexual minority individuals health risk behaviors and mental health. The consequences of th...
Article
Background Despite increasing legal protections and supportive attitudes toward sexual minorities (e.g., those who identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual [LGB]) in recent decades, suicidality remains more common among this population than among heterosexuals. While barriers to societal integration have been widely theorized as determinants of suici...
Article
Background Sexual minorities (e.g., lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals) are at higher risk for depression than heterosexual individuals. Lack of openness about one’s sexual orientation is a suggested source of these disparities, but it has been linked to both positive and negative mental health. Few population-based studies have explored the as...
Article
Background Despite professional recommendations to consider gender-affirming hormonal and surgical interventions for transgender individuals with gender dysphoria, the long-term effect of such interventions on mental health is largely unknown. This study aims to ascertain the prevalence of mood and anxiety disorder healthcare visits and antidepress...
Article
Objective: Despite professional recommendations to consider gender-affirming hormone and surgical interventions for transgender individuals experiencing gender incongruence, the long-term effect of such interventions on mental health is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to ascertain the prevalence of mood and anxiety disorder health care...
Article
Objectives: The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of a Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting Program (MBCP) in reducing pregnant women's perceived stress and preventing perinatal depression compared to an active control condition. Method: First time pregnant women (n = 197) at risk of perinatal depression were randomized to MBCP or...
Article
Full-text available
Because sexual orientation concealment can exact deep mental and physical health costs and dampen the public visibility necessary for advancing equal rights, estimating the proportion of the global sexual minority population that conceals its sexual orientation represents a matter of public health and policy concern. Yet a historic lack of cross-na...
Article
The time has arrived for the health of sexual and gender minority (i.e. lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) Europeans to be assessed. It has become increasingly clear that this likely-sizeable proportion of the European population experiences frequent discrimination, harassment and victimization; often conceals its identity and behavior from f...
Article
Sexual minorities (e.g., lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals) are at higher risk for depression than heterosexual individuals. Lack of openness about one's sexual orientation is a suggested source of these disparities, but it has been linked to both positive and negative mental health. Few population-based studies have explored the association b...
Article
Full-text available
In the past two decades, population-based health surveys have begun including measures of sexual orientation, permitting estimates of sexual orientation disparities in psychiatric morbidity and differences in treatment utilization. The present study takes advantage of the high-quality, comprehensive nationwide health registry data available in Swed...
Article
Objective: Although structural stigma (i.e., discriminatory laws, policies, and community attitudes) toward sexual minorities predicts adverse health and wellbeing, this association has typically only been examined within a single country and potential mechanisms remain unknown. Consequently, we examined the association between structural stigma a...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Although strong evidence documents the elevated prevalence of both substance use and mental health problems among sexual minorities (i.e., gay, lesbian, and bisexuals), relatively less research has examined whether risk of the co-occurrence of these factors is elevated among sexual minorities compared to heterosexuals. The object of this...
Article
Background: Research on the syndemic health threats facing sexual minority men suggests that the elevated risk of HIV among this population co-occurs with other psychosocial health disparities. This study aimed to conduct a population-based examination of clinically assessed syndemic predictors of HIV infection among gay and bisexual, compared wit...
Article
Purpose To explore future diagnosis-specific sickness absence and disability pension among women with breast cancer compared with women without breast cancer. Also, to examine associations with disease-related and sociodemographic factors among those with breast cancer. Methods Longitudinal register data on 3,547 women living in Sweden (age 20 to...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Substantial mental health disparities between lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals compared with heterosexuals have been identified. The aim was to examine potential sexual orientation-based disparities in mental health treatment in a prospectively analysed population-based sample in Sweden and to explore potential moderators an...
Article
Health disparities related to stigmatized characteristics, including sexual orientation, have been well-documented. However, it is largely unknown whether temporal declines in stigma at a structural level contribute to concomitant reductions in health disparities between stigmatized and nonstigmatized groups. The objective of this study was to (a)...
Article
Full-text available
Background Interventions based on meditation and mindfulness techniques have been shown to reduce stress and increase psychological well-being in a wide variety of populations. Self-administrated Internet-based mindfulness training programs have the potential to be a convenient, cost-effective, easily disseminated, and accessible alternative to gro...
Article
Objectives: To determine whether fundamental cause theory (which posits that, in societal conditions of unequal power and resources, members of higher-status groups experience better health than members of lower-status groups because of their disproportionate access to health-protective factors) might be relevant in explaining health disparities r...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Dispositional optimism is viewed as a key personality resource for resiliency and has been linked to adjustment among women with breast cancer. The aim was to examine (a) the psychometric proprieties of Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R), (b) the potential independence and co-occurrence of positive and negative dimensions of future...
Article
Reduction of health disparities is a fundamental goal of public health research and practice. During the past several years, public health policy and research have begun to address the substantial health disparities that exist between sexual minority [lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB)] and gender minority [transgender (T)], as compared with heterosex...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have identified substantial health disparities between lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals compared to heterosexuals. However, possible variation in sexual orientation health disparities by age and according to gender remains largely unexplored. To examine physical health disparities between LGB and heterosexual individuals...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Awareness of health disparities based on sexual orientation has increased in the past decades, and many official public health agencies throughout Europe call for programs addressing the specific needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals. However, the acceptance of LGB individuals varies significantly in different countries,...
Article
Full-text available
The primary aim of this study was to examine the associations between different types of coping and psychological well-being and physical health among women with breast cancer. A second aim was to explore the potential moderating influences of situational and measurement factors on the associations between coping and psychological well-being and ph...
Article
Full-text available
Background Improving the health of vulnerable minorities is an important public health goal. Research has shown that lesbian, gay and bisexuals (LGB) in general have poorer mental and physical health than heterosexuals. Swedish studies regarding factors influencing these health disparities are lacking. We need a better understanding of the mechan...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging evidence indicates that individuals reporting more positive affect are healthier and live longer. The aim of this study was to examine if positive states of mind moderates the effect of perceived stress on psychological functioning and perceived health. A cross-sectional sample, n = 382, responded to questions regarding perceived stress, d...
Article
Full-text available
Physicians' work with sickness certifications is an understudied field. The aims of this study were to gain knowledge of experiences concerning the sickness certification process among physicians working at oncology clinics. In 2008, all physicians working in Sweden (n = 36 898) were sent a questionnaire concerning sick-listing practices. All respo...