Bisexual-Specific Minority Stressors, Psychological Distress, and Suicidality in Bisexual Individuals: the Mediating Role of Loneliness
- 1.8k Downloads
Bisexual individuals are at higher risk for poor mental health outcomes compared to heterosexual as well as lesbian and gay individuals and experience minority stressors, such as discrimination, from both heterosexual and sexual minority communities. However, there is little research examining the negative effects of bisexual-specific minority stressors on bisexual individuals’ mental health as well as psychological factors that might help explain minority stressors’ deleterious effects. This research examined the effects of distal minority stressors (i.e., anti-bisexual experiences from both heterosexual as well as lesbian and gay people) and proximal stressors (i.e., internalized heterosexism and sexual orientation concealment) on psychological distress and suicidality among bisexual adults (N = 503). Building on the relational framing of the minority stress model, we also tested one relational factor (i.e., loneliness) as a mediator of the associations between distal and proximal minority stressors and poor mental health (i.e., psychological distress and suicidality). Structural equation modeling analyses were used to test the mediating effects of loneliness on the associations between minority stressors and psychological distress and suicidality. Although distal and proximal minority stressors were not associated with each other, loneliness mediated the effects of distal and proximal minority stressors on psychological distress and suicidality. The results of this study underscore the importance of targeting bisexual-specific minority stressors as well as loneliness in preventive interventions to improve the mental health of bisexual individuals.
KeywordsBisexual Minority stress Mental health Psychological distress Suicide Loneliness
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Dr. Katz-Wise was supported by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (K99HD082340).
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Arbuckle, J. (2011). IBM SPSS Amos 20.0 [computer program]. New York: IBM.Google Scholar
- Breiding, M. J., Chen, J., & Black, M. C. (2010). Intimate partner violence in the United States—2010 (C. National Ctr for Injury Prevention and Control, Div of Violence Prevention, Trans.). Atlanta, GA.Google Scholar
- Brewster, M. E., Moradi, B., DeBlaere, C., & Velez, B. L. (2013). Navigating the borderlands: The roles of minority stressors, bicultural self-efficacy, and cognitive flexibility in the mental health of bisexual individuals. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 60, 543–556. doi: 10.1037/a0033224.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Dodge, B., Herbenick, D., Friedman, M. R., Schick, V., Fu, T.-C., Bostwick, W., & ... Sandfort, T. G. M. (2016). Attitudes toward bisexual men and women among a nationally representative probability sample of adults in the United States. PLOS ONE, 11, e0164430. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164430.
- Feinstein, B. A., Dyar, C., Bhatia, V., Latack, J. A., & Davila, J. (2014). Willingness to engage in romantic and sexual activities with bisexual partners: Gender and sexual orientation differences. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1, 255–262. doi: 10.1037/sgd0000047.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Firestein, B. A. (1996). Bisexuality: The psychology and politics of an invisible minority. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc..Google Scholar
- Friedman, M. R., Dodge, B., Schick, V., Herbenick, D., Hubach, R., Bowling, J., & ... Reece, M. (2014). From bias to bisexual health disparities: Attitudes toward bisexual men and women in the United States. LGBT Health, 1, 309–318.Google Scholar
- Hawkley, L. C., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2010). Loneliness matters: A theoretical and empirical review of consequences and mechanisms. Annals of behavioral medicine: a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 40, 218–227. doi: 10.1007/s12160-010-9210-8.
- Institute of Medicine. (2011). The health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people: Building a foundation for better understanding. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- Kenny, D. A. (2011). Terminology and basics of SEM from http://davidakenny.net/cm/basics.htm.
- Kraut, R., Olson, J., Banaji, M., Bruckman, A., Cohen, J., & Couper, M. (2004). Psychological research online: Report of Board of Scientific Affairs’ Advisory Group on the Conduct of Research on the Internet. American Psychologist, 59, 105–117. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.59.2.105.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Mohr, J., & Fassinger, R. (2000). Measuring dimensions of lesbian and gay male experience. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 33, 66–66.Google Scholar
- Pompili, M., Lester, D., Forte, A., Seretti, M. E., Erbuto, D., Lamis, D. A., & ... Girardi, P. (2014). Bisexuality and suicide: A systematic review of the current literature. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 11, 1903–1913. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12581.
- Pyra, M., Weber, K. M., Wilson, T. E., Cohen, J., Murchison, L., Goparaju, L., & ... Cohen, M. H. (2014). Sexual minority women and depressive symptoms throughout adulthood. American Journal of Public Health, 104, e83-e90. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302259.
- Schumacker, R. E., & Lomax, R. (2010). Structural equation modeling. NY: Routlege.Google Scholar
- Thompson, B. (2000). Ten commandments of structural equation modeling. In L. G. Grimm & P. R. Yarnold (Eds.), Reading and understanding more multivariate statistics (pp. 261–295). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar