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J Gay Lesbian Ment Health. 2016;20(4):363-375. Epub 2016 Apr 7.

Looking on the Bright Side of Stigma: How Stress-related Growth Facilitates Adaptive Coping among Gay and Bisexual Men.

Author information

1
Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University.
2
Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), Hunter College, City University of New York.
3
Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Social and Behavioral Sciences Division, Yale School of Public Health, Yale University.

Abstract

Stigma has been linked to adverse mental health outcomes among gay and bisexual men, yet how psychological resources facilitate adaptive coping remains unclear. The present study examined the association between stress-related growth and internalizing mental health symptoms and considered emotion regulation as a mechanism mediating this association. Gay and bisexual men 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 more effective emotion regulation, which in turn predicted fewer internalizing symptoms. These findings have important implications for understanding and alleviating sexual minority mental health disparities.

KEYWORDS:

discrimination; gay and bisexual men; mental health; sexual minority

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