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J Homosex. 2009;56(8):1011-29. doi: 10.1080/00918360903275419.

Sexual identity development and self-esteem as predictors of body image in a racially diverse sample of gay men.

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Division of Counseling Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.


The current study examined the relationship between sexual identity development and body image, as well as the potential mediating effect of self-esteem, in a community sample of gay men. A diverse group of participants (N = 172), recruited through listservs and flyers, completed an online survey. Regression analyses were conducted to assess the relationships between identity development and self-esteem, identity development and body image, self-esteem and body image, and the mediating role of self-esteem. As predicted, significant relationships were identified between each pair of variables, and self-esteem was found to be a mediator when the sample was considered as a whole. When participants of color were compared to those who were White, however, between-group differences emerged; identity stage did not predict self-esteem or body image for participants of color, nor did the mediated relationship exist. Self-esteem did predict body image in both groups. The sociocultural context of these findings is considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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