Gay and bisexual Black men experience higher lifetime depression rates than both White and Black heterosexual men. Some social stress researchers argued that this rate may be due to having two stigmatized minority identities and therefore being at greater risk. However, gay and bisexual Black men also experience lifetime depression rates significantly below White LGB people, suggesting resilience to depression for those with these intersecting identities, race and sexuality. This study attempted to address the debate between greater risk versus resilience in gay and bisexual Black men.
This study investigated whether internalized heterosexism and internalized racism would independently predict depressive symptoms, and whether the interaction of the two would account for more reported depression, supporting the greater risk perspective and minority stress theory (Meyer, 2003). Additionally, the resilience perspective was tested using Africultural coping, culture-specific type of coping, as a moderator of the relationship between internalized stigmas and depressive symptoms. All variables were examined for their relative contributions to depressive symptoms in gay and bisexual Black men to allow for a nuanced view of risk and resilience in this population.
Eighty-three gay and bisexual Black men of diverse ages, incomes, and educational levels from around the U.S. completed all online surveys and were included in analysis. The single multiple regression was significant with the full model explaining 43% of the variance in depressive symptoms. Internalized heterosexism was positively associated with depressive symptoms. Neither internalized racism, nor the interaction of internalized stigmas (internalized heterosexism x internalized racism) was significant. Thus, minority stress theory was only partially supported and the greater risk perspective was not supported.
Africultural coping was not significant, in this sample, in predicting depressive symptoms, nor was the interaction of Africultural Coping with each of the two internalized stigmas. In keeping with social stress theory and research, reported low income was significantly and positively associated with depressive symptoms. Possible confounds and limitations are discussed. Implications for theory, methodology and measurement are also discussed.
|Advisor:||Pieterse, Alex L., Friedlander, Myrna L.|
|Commitee:||Friedlander, Myrna L., Jome, LaRae, Pieterse, Alex L.|
|School:||State University of New York at Albany|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Multicultural Education, GLBT Studies, Counseling Psychology|
|Keywords:||Black men, Coping, Depression, Gay men, Minority stress, Resilience|
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