Category: Gay / Lesbian / Bisexual / Transgender Issues

Symposium

Stigma: How Stress-Related Growth Facilitates Adaptive Coping Among Gay and Bisexual Men

Friday, November 17
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Cobalt 501, Level 5, Cobalt Level

Keywords: L / G / B / T | Emotion Regulation | Resilience
Presentation Type: Symposium

Gay and bisexual men disproportionately experience a number of internalizing mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Although much research has explored the role of stigma-related stressors underlying such disparities, less is known about how psychological resources might facilitate adaptive coping and promote mental health. The present study examined the association between stress-related growth (i.e., perceptions of positive personal or life changes as a result of stressful events) and internalizing mental health symptoms and considered emotion dysregulation as a mechanism mediating this association. Gay and bisexual men (N = 63) completed questionnaires measuring stress-related growth associated with sexual orientation identity development, emotion regulation difficulties, and anxiety and depressive symptoms. Stress-related growth was associated with greater emotion regulation difficulties (β = -.35, p = .002), which was in turn associated with fewer depressive (β = .39, p = .004) and anxiety (β = .50, p < .001) symptoms. Additionally, there were significant indirect effects of stress-related growth on both depressive (β = -.14, p = .049) and anxiety (β = -.17, p = .015) symptoms through emotion regulation difficulties. These findings highlighted stress-related growth as a source of resilience among gay and bisexual men and have important implications for understanding and alleviating sexual minority mental health disparities.  

Katie Wang

Yale School of Public Health

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