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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2015 Oct;83(5):875-89. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000037. Epub 2015 Jul 6.

LGB-affirmative cognitive-behavioral therapy for young adult gay and bisexual men: A randomized controlled trial of a transdiagnostic minority stress approach.

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Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Social and Behavioral Sciences Division, Yale School of Public Health, Yale University.
Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.
Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies & Training (CHEST).
Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.



We tested the preliminary efficacy of a transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral treatment adapted to improve depression, anxiety, and co-occurring health risks (i.e., alcohol use, sexual compulsivity, condomless sex) among young adult gay and bisexual men. Treatment adaptations focused on reducing minority stress processes that underlie sexual orientation-related mental health disparities.


Young gay and bisexual men (n = 63; M age = 25.94) were randomized to immediate treatment or a 3-month waitlist. At baseline, 3-month, and 6-month assessments, participants completed self-reports of mental health and minority stress and an interview of past-90-day risk behavior.


Compared to waitlist, treatment significantly reduced depressive symptoms (b = -2.43, 95% CI: -4.90, 0.35, p < .001), alcohol use problems (b = -3.79, 95% CI: -5.94, -1.64, p < .001), sexual compulsivity (b = -5.09, 95% CI: -8.78, -1.40, p < .001), and past-90-day condomless sex with casual partners (b = -1.09, 95% CI: -1.80, -0.37, p < .001), and improved condom use self-efficacy (b = 10.08, 95% CI: 3.86, 16.30, p < .001). The treatment yielded moderate and marginally significant greater improvements than waitlist in anxiety symptoms (b = -2.14, 95% CI: -4.61, 0.34, p = .09) and past-90-day heavy drinking (b = -0.32, 95% CI: -0.71, 0.07, p = .09). Effects were generally maintained at follow-up. Minority stress processes showed small improvements in the expected direction.


This study demonstrated preliminary support for the first intervention adapted to address gay and bisexual men's co-occurring health problems at their source in minority stress. If found to be efficacious compared to standard evidence-based treatments, the treatment will possess substantial potential for helping clinicians translate LGB-affirmative treatment guidelines into evidence-based practice. (PsycINFO Database Record

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