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Examining the psychosocial health of black sexual minority men

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Louis Franswa Graham (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Robert Aronson

Abstract: Research suggests that Black sexual minority men (BSMM; i.e. non-heterosexual and non-straight) experience more depressive symptoms and anxiety disorders than their White gay and Black heterosexual counterparts. Little is known about the factors that influence the psychosocial health of BSMM. The limited research conducted with men who have sex with men and Black men in generalsuggests that ethnic and sexual identity development; exposure to violence, discrimination, and harassment (VDH); and coping skills may influence the psychosocial health of BSMM. The primary aim of this study was to examine the relationships between depression, anxiety, identity development (operationalized as Black identity achievement and internalized homonegativity), exposure to VDH, and coping skills. A cross-sectional convenience sample of 61 BSMM completed a battery of assessments designed to explore these relationships. The average age of participants was 31 years old, 77% were homosexual, and 77% identified as gay. To assess statistical associations between dependent and independent variables multiple linear regression analysis was used to answer the following research questions: 1. Are internalized homonegativity and VDH significantly positively associated with depression and anxiety? 2. Is Black identity achievement significantly negatively associated with depression and anxiety? 3. Is there an interaction effect between internalized homonegativity and Black identity achievement on depression and anxiety? 4. Does coping skill level moderate the associations between depression and anxiety and internalized homonegativity, VDH, and Black identity achievement? The construct internalized homonegativity is multifaceted, multidimensional, and nuanced, and therefore difficult to operationalize in appropriate sociocultural context. Thus, it is important that tools available to measure this construct have established validity and reliability for this specific subgroup. Thus, a secondary aim of this study was to evaluate construct validity and reliability among BSMM of the internalized homonegativity inventory (IHNI). This aim was achieved by establishing translation and criterion-relation validity. The IHNI was minimally altered to better suit a specific subpopulation, BSMM. Factor analysis revealed a slightly better performance of the altered IHNI as compared to the original. Experience of VDH and internalized homonegativity explained a large portion of the variability in depression and anxiety scores, findings in line with other similar and related studies. A high percentage of the sample screened positive for likelihood of both depression and anxiety. Violence, discrimination, and harassment appeared to be chronic among participants in the current study. These findings offer further validation of the IHNI for use among BSMM and provides additional data on factors influencing the mental health of BSMM. Further validation research and investigation of factors influencing the psychosocial health of BSMM is needed.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2010
Keywords
Anxiety, Coping, Depression, Identity Development, Race, Sexuality
Subjects
African American men $x Sexual behavior.
African American men $x Social conditions.
Minority gays.
Interpersonal relations.