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Arjan van der Star

Ph.D. Candidate at the Division of Psychology of the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet.

Arjan Van Der Star

PhD student

Ph.D. Candidate at the Division of Psychology of the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet.

Department and organisational affiliation:

About me

Arjan van der Star is a public health scientist and epidemiologist interested in the mental health of sexual and gender minorities. Arjan obtained a Master of Science degree in Health Economics, Policy and Law at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He currently holds a Ph.D. candidacy position at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, under the supervision of dr. Richard Bränström and is a Postgraduate Fellow with the ESTEEM Program in NYC at the Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, in the US. Furthermore, Arjan acts as the vice president of the section on Sexual and Gender Minority Health of the European Public Health Association.

Research description

Arjan van der Star’s research focuses on the question how stigma-related stressors may explain sexual orientation-based mental health disparities and how stigma may unfold itself at several (socio-ecological) levels surrounding sexual (and gender) minorities. More specifically, Arjan’s work focuses on how these stigma-related stressors may interact across these various levels of stigma toward sexual minorities. As an example, he examines how discriminatory policies and laws may further promote different enacted forms of stigma at the interpersonal level, such as victimization and harassment, to further drive forms of self-stigma at the individual level, like the internalization of negative societal attitudes. Given his strong public health background and interest, Arjan seeks to further the understanding on how policies and laws can structurally harm or protect the mental health of sexual and gender minorities. Hence, through his research, Arjan’s work primarily aims to inform policymakers on how adverse mental health outcomes resulting from stigma may be prevented among these groups. Furthermore, as Arjan’s research focuses on further illuminating mechanisms underlying the processes linking stigma to poor mental health, his work may further inform psychotherapy that focuses on dealing with the mental health consequences of stigma among sexual and gender minorities.


Structural, interpersonal, and individual factors influencing sexual orientation-based disparities in mental health

Supervisors: Dr. Richard Bränström (main), Dr. John E. PachankisProf. Mats Lekander, and Dr. Petter Tinghög


Untethered Lives: Barriers to Societal Integration as Predictors of the Sexual Orientation Disparity in Suicidality. Bränström, R., Van der Star, A., & Pachankis, J.E. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 2020 Jan;55(1):89-99.

Sexual Orientation Openness and Depression Symptoms: A Population-Based Study. Van der Star, A., Pachankis, J. E., & Bränström, R. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2019;6(3):369-381.

European-wide monitoring of sexual and gender minority health: a necessary and feasible task for advancing health equity. Bränström, R., Van der Star, A., & Pachankis, J. European Journal of Public Health 2019 04;29(2):199-200.

More knowledge and research concerning the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals is needed. Bränström, R., & Van der Star, A. European Journal of Public Health 2016 Apr;26(2):208-9.

Acceptance of sexual minorities, discrimination, social capital and health and well-being: a cross-European study among members of same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Van der Star, A., & Bränström, R. BMC Public Health 2015 Aug;15(1):812.

Long-Term (6 Months) Effectiveness, Compliance, and Subjective Sleep Outcomes of Treatment with the Sleep Position Trainer in a Large Cohort of Position-Dependent OSA Patients. Van Maanen, J.P., Van der Star, A., & De Vries, N. Positional Therapy in Obstructive Sleep Apnea (Springer International Publishing), 2015:265-278.

History of Positional Therapy: Transition from Tennis Balls to New Devices. Ravesloot, M., Van der Star, A., & Van Beest, E.C. Positional Therapy in Obstructive Sleep Apnea (Springer International Publishing), 2015:223-235.

Next generation of public health professionals: networks and the EUPHAnxtintegration approach. Bert, F., Van der Star, A., & Scaioli, G. European Journal of Public Health 2014 Dec;24(6):876.

EUPHA office column: EUPHA 2020, the third strategy's pillar & EUPHAnxt. Zeegers Paget, D., Ricciardi, W., Van der Star, A., Jakab, Z., Borg, T., Bert, F., & Scaioli, G. European Journal of Public Health 2014;24(4):696-699.

EUPHAnxt, young professionals and European Public Health: a challenge for the future. Bert, F., & Van der Star, A. European Journal of Public Health 2014;23(4):717–719

All inclusive Public Health--what about LGBT populations? Bränström, R., & Van der Star, A. European Journal of Public Health 2013 Jun;23(3):353-4


2018-03-01 - Present:           Postgraduate Fellow at the Yale School of Public Health 

2016-09-01 - Present:           Ph.D. Candidacy in Public Health

2011-09-01 - 2013-08-31:     M.Sc. in Health Economics, Policy & Law

2008-09-01 - 2011-08-31:     B.Sc. in Health Policy & Management

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