The Impact of Victimization and Neuroticism on Mental Health in Young Men Who Have Sex with Men

Internalized Homophobia as an Underlying Mechanism

Jae A. Puckett, Michael E. Newcomb*, Robert Garofalo, Brian Mustanski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sexual minorities experience greater mental health issues compared with heterosexuals due to minority stressors. This study focused on the impact of victimization and neuroticism on mental health in young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and the mediating role of internalized homophobia (IH). IH refers to when a sexual minority person internalizes social bias and develops a negative view of themselves, which is a likely process through which victimization and neuroticism impact mental health. Data were collected over three time points across 12 months, with 450 YMSM (mean age = 18.9) and an 80.7 % retention rate. Two mediation analyses with bias-corrected bootstrapping using 1000 samples were conducted, controlling for age, race, and sexual orientation. Results revealed that victimization [F (9, 440) = 4.83, p < 0.001, R2 = 0.09] and neuroticism [F (9, 440) = 12.23, p < 0.001, R2 = 0.20] had a significant indirect effect on mental health via increased levels of IH. These findings show how external experiences of stigma and personality-level characteristics may impact YMSM in terms of their sense of self. Furthermore, these results support addressing social conditions that marginalize YMSM in order to promote better mental health through decreasing IH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-201
Number of pages9
JournalSexuality Research and Social Policy
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Fingerprint

Homophobia
Crime Victims
neuroticism
victimization
Mental Health
mental health
minority
Social Conditions
Heterosexuality
sexual orientation
trend
Sexual Behavior
social factors
mediation
Personality
personality
experience
homophobia
Neuroticism
human being

Keywords

  • Internalized homophobia
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Mental health
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

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title = "The Impact of Victimization and Neuroticism on Mental Health in Young Men Who Have Sex with Men: Internalized Homophobia as an Underlying Mechanism",
abstract = "Sexual minorities experience greater mental health issues compared with heterosexuals due to minority stressors. This study focused on the impact of victimization and neuroticism on mental health in young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and the mediating role of internalized homophobia (IH). IH refers to when a sexual minority person internalizes social bias and develops a negative view of themselves, which is a likely process through which victimization and neuroticism impact mental health. Data were collected over three time points across 12 months, with 450 YMSM (mean age = 18.9) and an 80.7 {\%} retention rate. Two mediation analyses with bias-corrected bootstrapping using 1000 samples were conducted, controlling for age, race, and sexual orientation. Results revealed that victimization [F (9, 440) = 4.83, p < 0.001, R2 = 0.09] and neuroticism [F (9, 440) = 12.23, p < 0.001, R2 = 0.20] had a significant indirect effect on mental health via increased levels of IH. These findings show how external experiences of stigma and personality-level characteristics may impact YMSM in terms of their sense of self. Furthermore, these results support addressing social conditions that marginalize YMSM in order to promote better mental health through decreasing IH.",
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