Minority Stress Experiences and Psychological Well-Being: The Impact of Support from and Connection to Social Networks Within the Los Angeles House and Ball Communities
- 1.7k Downloads
African American young men who have sex with men (AAYMSM) from the House and Ball communities are at high risk for HIV infection. Because these communities are not only sources of risk but also support for AAYMSM, researchers must also consider the resources these communities possess. This knowledge will assist in the formulation of more effective prevention strategies and intervention approaches. Using minority stress theory as a framework, the current study illustrates the impact minority stress has on the psychological well-being of a sample of MSM from the Los Angeles House and Ball communities and investigates how these factors affect the relationship between minority stress and psychological well-being. Surveys were administered to participants over the course of a year. Structural equation modeling was used to estimate a model of the associations between minority stressors, support, connection to social network, and psychological well-being/distress (N = 233). The results indicated significant associations between different sources of minority stress, including distal minority stress (e.g., racism, homophobia), gay identification, and internalized homophobia. Minority stressors were in turn significantly associated with greater distress. However, greater instrumental support significantly reduced the effects of distal minority stress on distress. Greater connection to social network also significantly reduced stress associated with gay identification on distress. The findings captured the diverse sources of minority stress faced by this population and how these stressors are interrelated to impact mental health. The results also illustrate how support from and connection to social networks can reduce the negative impact of minority stress experiences.
KeywordsHouse and Ball African American YMSM Minority stress Psychological well-being Social support
This study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health (R01 DA22968). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Drug Abuse or the National Institutes of Health. The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of the staff members who contributed to the collection, management, analysis and review of these data: Veronica Abernathy, Teela Davis, Deandre Ellison, Judith Grout, Cody Haight, Nefe Iredia, Tattiya Kliengklom, Katrina Kubicek, Sylvia Lambrechts, Donna Luebbe, Miles McNeeley, Griselda Monroy, Heather Reyes, Marcia Reyes, Luis Salazar, Milton Smith, Flor Vindel, and George Weiss. The authors would also like to acknowledge the insightful and practical commentary of the members of the P3 Advisory Board, the Mothers and Fathers from the House of Allure, House of Chanel, House of Ebony, House of Escada, House of Etro Galliano, House of Herrera, House of Garcon, House of Gotti, House of Lauren van Cartier, House of Mizarahi, House of Miyake Mugler, House of Revlon, House of Rodeo, and the House of Ultra Omni. We are especially grateful to all of the parents, leaders, and members of the Los Angeles House and Ball communities for their commitment and willingness to share their diverse and often profound personal experiences as well as welcoming us into a part of their lives.
- Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Benjamini, Y. & Hochberg, Y. (1995). Controlling the false discovery rate: A practical and powerful approach to multiple testing. Journal of Royal Statistical Society, Series B, 57, 289–300.Google Scholar
- Bruce, D., & Harper, G. W. (2011). Operating without a safety net: Gay male adolescents and emerging adults’ experiences of marginalization and migration, and implications for theory of syndemic production of health disparities. Health Education and Behavior, 38, 367–378.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Díaz, R. M. (1998). Latino gay men and HIV: Culture, sexuality, and risk behavior. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Díaz, R. M., & Ayala, G. (2001). Social discrimination and health: The case of Latino gay men and HIV risk: The Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.Google Scholar
- Díaz, R. M., Ayala, G., Bein, E., Henne, J., & Marin, B. V. (2001). The impact of homophobia, poverty, and racism on the mental health of gay and bisexual Latino men: Findings from 3 US cities. American Journal of Public Health, 91, 927–932.Google Scholar
- Dragowski, E. A., Halkitis, P. N., Grossman, A. H., & D’Augelli, A. R. (2011). Sexual orientation victimization and posttraumatic stress symptoms among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services: The Quarterly Journal of Community & Clinical Practice, 23, 226–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ford, W., Weiss, G., Kipke, M. D., Ritt-Olson, A., Iverson, E., & Lopez, D. (2010). The healthy young men’s study: Sampling methods for enrolling a cohort of young men who have sex with men. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services: Issues in practice, policy and research., 21, 357–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hightow-Weidman, L. B., Phillips, G., Jones, K. C., Outlaw, A. Y., Fields, S. D., & Smith, J. C. (2011). Racial and sexual identity-related maltreatment among minority YMSM: Prevalence, perceptions, and the association with emotional distress. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 25, S39–S45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kipke, M. D., Kubicek, K., Supan, J., Weiss, G., & Schrager, S. M. (2012). Laying the groundwork for an HIV prevention intervention: A descriptive profile of the Los Angeles House and Ball Communities. AIDS and Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10461-012-0227-9.
- Kline, R. B. (2004). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Kubicek, K., McNeeley, M., Holloway, I. W., Weiss, G., & Kipke, M. D. (2012). “It’s like our own little world”: Resilience as a factor in participating in the Ballroom community subculture. AIDS and Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10461-012-0205-2.
- Murrill, C. S., Liu, K.-l., Guilin, V., Colón, E. R., Dean, L., Buckley, L. A., et al. (2008). HIV prevalence and associated risk behaviors in New York City’s house ball community. American Journal of Public Health, 98, 1074–1080.Google Scholar
- Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2011). Mplus user’s guide (6th Ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
- Muthen, L. K., & Muthen, B. (2010). Growth modeling with latent variables using Mplus: Introductory and intermediate growth models, pp. 162–169. Retrieved from http://www.statmodel.com/download/Topic3-v.pdf. Accessed 12 March 2012.
- Poteat, V. P., Mereish, E. H., DiGiovanni, C. D., & Koenig, B. W. (2011). The effects of general and homophobic victimization on adolescents’ psychosocial and educational concerns: The importance of intersecting identities and parent support. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58, 597–609.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sterling, T. R., Stanley, R. L., & Thompson, D. (2000). HIV-related tuberculosis in a transgender network—Baltimore, Maryland, and New York City area, 1998–2000. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 49, 317–320.Google Scholar