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Can J Commun Ment Health. 2003 Fall;22(2):15-30.

Internalized homophobia: a factor in depression, anxiety, and suicide in the gay and lesbian population.

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McGill University.


Two-hundred and twenty participants recruited through multiple sampling strategies completed a self-report questionnaire examining: (a) whether internalized homophobia predicts depressive and anxious symptoms, suicide, and substance abuse; and (b) the periods of gay-identity development which were particularly risky for suicide. Results indicate that internalized homophobia, particularly negative feelings towards one's own homosexuality (as measured by the Self subscale of the Nungesser Homosexual Attitudes Inventory), accounts for 18% of the variance in depressive scores and 13% of anxiety scores (using the Beck inventories). Internalized homophobia did not predict suicide independently from depression. The period of greatest risk for both suicidal ideation and suicide attempts was the period of disclosure of one's homosexuality to one's immediate family.

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