Melanie A. Brayman is a 2019 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee

  • Roger L. Peterson, PhD, ABPP, Committee Chair
  • Vince Pignatiello, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Stephen Gresham, PhD, Committee Member


LGBQ veterans, sexual functioning

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The prevalence of sexual dysfunction (SD) in veterans is high when compared to the general population because of its relationship to physical and mental health issues endured while serving their country (Hosain, Latini, Kauth, Goltz, & Helmer, 2013). Research has mainly concentrated on male, heterosexual veterans with SD and very little research has explored lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) veterans’ experiences. This is concerning considering research indicates that LGBQ veterans’ sexual minority status adds unique stressors such as fear of disclosing identity, fear of stigma, and internalized homophobia in addition to the stresses that occur from being in the military (Cochran, Balsam, Fientje, Malte, & Simpson, 2013). These stressors cause LGBQ veterans to be more susceptible to mental health issues, which can affect sexual functioning. The focus and purpose of this dissertation was to examine if Veterans Health Administration (VHA) clinicians are asking about their LGBQ veterans sexual functioning. This research was conducted by giving VHA clinicians a Demographic and Experience Questionnaire and responses were analyzed through frequency chi-squared analyses. The primary aim of this dissertation was to examine the barriers to asking LGBQ veterans’ about their sexual functioning, especially when research has proven that this is an issue that many LGBQ veterans suffer with. Results revealed a significant relationship between provider’s willingness to assess for sexual functioning and whether they have received training in that area. Other barriers included being on a time constraint as well as a lack of relevance to the treatment. Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are explored


Melanie Brayman

ORCID Scholar ID# : 0000-0001-9479-3328