Attributions for discriminatory events and satisfaction with social support in gay men

Michelle Nicole Burns*, Charles Kamen, Kenneth A. Lehman, Steven R.H. Beach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Attributions modulate the impact of stressful events on mental health. However, little is known about attributions for discriminatory events and their relationship to psychosocial outcomes in sexualminority individuals. Relationships were examined between gaymen's attributions for discrimination and their satisfactionwith social support, avariable critical tomentalhealth in this population.Gaymen(N=307) completed online measures of satisfactionwith social support, attributions for discriminatory events, and key minority stress constructs. Self blaming attributions for discriminationwere associatedwith decreased satisfactionwith social support, independent of the frequency with which participants reported experiencing discrimination. The link between self blaming and satisfaction with social support was partially mediated by a latent affective construct comprised of anxiety, depression,andlowpositive affect.Amoderationeffect was also found, such that the relationship between frequency of perceived discriminatory events and dissatisfaction with social support was amplified for men reporting more blame toward perpetrators of discrimination. Results support attributions for discrimination as valuable additions to minority stress models. Assessing self and other blame for these discriminatory events mayhelp toclarifypathwaysbywhich discrimination can undermine gay men's satisfaction with their social support networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-671
Number of pages13
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Attributions
  • Discrimination
  • Gay men
  • Minority stress
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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