The Role of Psychological Flexibility as a Mediator Between Experienced Sexual Racism and Psychological Distress Among Men of Color Who Have Sex with Men

Yash Bhambhani, Maureen K. Flynn, Karen Kate Kellum, Kelly G. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research has shown that individuals belonging to multiple marginalized groups experience higher levels of psychological distress, which is linked to experiencing discrimination based on their multiple marginalized identities. One way that gay and bisexual men of color face discrimination is in the dating and sexual situations within the men who have sex with men community, which is sometimes termed sexual racism. Previous research has found that experienced discrimination on the basis of their race/ethnicity is positively related to depressive symptoms. The present study examined whether psychological flexibility mediates the effect of experiencing sexual racism on psychological distress. In this study, 439 men of color who have sex with men completed a series of questionnaires online on Amazon Mechanical Turk. Results showed that the indirect effects of experiencing sexual racism through psychological flexibility on depression (95% CI.22,.39), anxiety (95% CI.15,.29), and stress (95% CI.18,.33) were significant while controlling for demographic variables. Therefore, this model showed that psychological flexibility mediated and explained the effect of experiencing sexual racism on psychological distress. Clinical implications and future avenues of research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-720
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Discrimination
  • Psychological distress
  • Psychological flexibility
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sexual racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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