, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 272-284
Date: 17 Mar 2009

Exploring the Mental Health of Black Men Who Have Sex with Men

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Current research indicates that black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately burdened by depressive distress and anxiety disorders as compared to their white gay and heterosexual counterparts. This study utilizes focus groups to qualitatively explore issues surrounding the mental health status of this population in an attempt to shed light on potential influencing and determinant factors. Twenty-two self-identified black, or multi-racial including black, MSM residing in Atlanta, Georgia participated in two focus groups—11 subjects each, respectively. Categories that emerged from data analysis include: knowledge/experiences, attitudes/beliefs, societal action/behavior, identity development, relationship functionality, and mental health status. Overarching themes for each category were delineated.

This paper was presented at both the 2007, 78th Annual Meeting and Conference of the Georgia Public Health Association (GPHA), and the Our Common Welfare: MSM Health & Wellness Summit in Atlanta, Georgia (2007).