Moderators of the Association Between Community Connectedness and Internalizing Symptoms Among Gay Men

Antonio Petruzzella*, Brian A. Feinstein, Joanne Davila, Justin A. Lavner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Sexual minorities are exposed to various gay-related and general stressors that increase risk of mental and physical health problems. Yet, less attention has been paid to positive factors such as ameliorative coping strategies and social supports that reduce risk of mental health difficulties in this population. The current study sought to address this gap by examining the association between gay community connectedness and internalizing symptoms (i.e., general psychological distress, anxiety, and depression) in a sample of 147 self-identified gay men living in the greater New York City area, as well as the conditions under which gay community connectedness is associated with better mental health. Data were collected between 2013 and 2014. Findings indicated that gay community connectedness was associated with lower levels of internalizing symptoms among gay men, consistent with minority stress theory and other work examining the benefits of community coping resources. This association was strongest for non-White gay men, those whose gay identity was more central to their overall identity, and those with higher levels of femininity. These findings underscore the need to consider multiple aspects of gay men’s identity (e.g., race/ethnicity, centrality, femininity) in order to fully understand the factors associated with mental health outcomes in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1519-1528
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 15 2019


  • Community connectedness
  • Femininity
  • Gay men
  • Identity
  • Internalizing symptoms
  • Sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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