RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INTERNALIZED HOMOPHOBIA AND NEGATIVE MOOD REGULATION EXPECTANCIES IN MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN: MODERATION OF ADVERSE MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES
Members of the LGBTQIA+ community experience unique stressors specific to their sexual minority status, on top of common stressors faced by others. The minority stress model identifies these unique stressors as a probable reason for the higher prevalence of negative mental and physical health outcomes documented in this population. The current study sought to explore the relationship between a stressor identified in the minority stress model, internalized homophobia and mental health outcomes,
... nd whether negative mood regulation expectancies (NMRE) affect this connection. NMRE are an individual's confidence about their ability to improve their negative moods. I examined the associations among internalized homophobia, NMRE, depression, anxiety, somatic symptoms, and coping styles among men who have sex with men (MSM; N = 431). Participants completed self-report measures online. Results showed negative relationships of internalized homophobia with NMRE and active coping, and positive relationships with symptoms and avoidant coping. NMRE had a negative association with symptoms and avoidant coping, while correlating positively with active coping. NMRE independently predicted all coping and symptoms, while internalized homophobia only independently predicted active coping and depression symptoms. Results did not support moderation by NMRE of the relationship between internalized homophobia and symptoms. This study's findings support the assessment of internalized homophobia at the onset of psychotherapy and a targeted effort to reduce internalized homophobia for the improvement of sexual minority mental health, while enhancing NMRE for the LGBTQIA+ population.