Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 272–284 | Cite as

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

  • Louis F. Graham
  • Kisha Braithwaite
  • Pilgrim Spikes
  • Charles F. Stephens
  • Ugo F. Edu
Original Paper


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.


Depression Anxiety Men who have sex with men (MSM) Gay Black 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis F. Graham
    • 1
  • Kisha Braithwaite
    • 2
  • Pilgrim Spikes
    • 3
  • Charles F. Stephens
    • 4
  • Ugo F. Edu
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Public Health EducationUniversity of North Carolina, GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  2. 2.Morehouse School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Centers for Disease Control & PreventionAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.AID AtlantaAtlantaUSA

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