234628 Factors influencing depression and anxiety among black sexual minority men

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 8:30 AM

Louis F. Graham, DrPH, MPH , School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Robert Aronson, DrPH , Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Tracy R. Nichols, PhD , Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Charles Stephens, BA , Department of Education and Volunteer Services, AID Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Scott Rhodes, PhD, MPH, CHES , Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Background: Research and theoretical suppositions suggests that Black sexual minority men (BSMM) may be disproportionately burdened by depressive symptoms and anxiety disorders. The primary aim of this study was to examine the relationships between depression and anxiety, ethnic and sexual identity development (operationalized as Black identity achievement and internalized homonegativity); violence, discrimination, and harassment (VDH); and coping skills among BSMM. Methods: Using an observational cross-sectional study design 54 participants recruited through snowball sampling techniques in an urban southern city completed a battery of surveys comprised of validated scales (CES-D, STAI-S, RIAS-B, IHNI, PEDQ-CV, Brief COPE) to measure the aforementioned constructs. All tools had a high Cronbach's alpha. An interaction term (RIAS-IHNI) was included as a proxy measure for racial and sexual identity intersectionality. Coping was hypothesized to moderate the relationships between independent and dependents variables. To assess statistical associations between dependent and independent variables multiple linear regression analysis was used. Results: Experience of VDH, and internalized homonegativity explained a large portion of the variability in depression (64%) and anxiety (53%) among this sample. A high percentage of the sample screened positive for likelihood of both depression (30%) and anxiety (33%). In the past year 95% of participants experienced VDH. The average age of participants was 31 years old, 77% were homosexual, and 77% identified as gay. Conclusions: The study showed a high prevalence of mental distress among BSMM. VDH appeared to be chronic among participants. Race independently and race and sexuality together were implicated most by participants as driving factors in their experience of VDH. Participants experienced VDH most often in public places, retail setting, and the criminal-justice system. Neither level of positive coping, Black identity, nor socioeconomic status (education and income) appeared to play a significant role in mental health outcomes.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify factors related to mental disorder acquisition by Black sexual minority men. 2) Discuss the scientific evidence that informs psychosocial health promotion and protection among Black sexual minority men related to violence, discrimination, and harassment, and identity development. 3) Describe the similarities and differences in factors contributing to depression and anxiety respectively among Black sexual minority men. 4) Explain why level of positive coping, Black identity, and socioeconomic status may not appear to play a significant role in mental health outcomes among Black sexual minority men.

Keywords: Gay Men, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: 1. Graham LF, Brown-Jeffy S, et al. (2010). Critical Race Theory as theoretical framework and analysis tool for population health research. Critical Public Health Journal. (in press) 2. Graham LF, McGee W, et al. (2010). Perceived social norms and communication about sex among South African inmates. Health Education Monograph, 27(2), 26-32. 3. Graham LF, Braithwaite K, et al. (2009). Exploring the mental health of Black MSM. Journal of Community Mental Health, 45, 272-284. 4. Graham LF, Treadwell HM, Braithwaite K. (2008). Social policy, imperiled communities, and HIV/AIDS transmission in prisons: A call for zero tolerance. Journal of Menís Health, 5(4), 267-273. 5. Graham LF. (2008). Empowering the public health service. In Student Ideas for Improving Health policy. Roosevelt Institution, 1, 43-45. http://www.scribd.com/doc/7807091/Roosevelt-Rx W.K. Kellogg Health Scholars Postdoctoral Fellow ē Receiving advanced training in community-based participatory research (CBPR) by engaging in field projects with community partners, gaining experience in translating CBPR findings into policy, and increasing capacity to build and maintain relationships between academe, communities, and practice and advocacy organizations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.