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Mindfulness attenuates the impact of discrimination on the mental health of middle-aged and older gay men
Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2016
Pages: 227 - 235
Source ID: shanti-sources-68691
Abstract: Rates of depression and anxiety are disproportionately high among gay men in part because of the impact of stigma and discrimination. Mindfulness is known to prevent stressful reactions to challenging life events. This study examined whether higher levels of dispositional mindfulness attenuated the impact of sexuality- and age-related discrimination on the mental health and self-esteem of middle-aged and older gay men. A total of 369 gay-identified men aged 40 years and older participated in a national community-based survey in Australia. Measures included the K10 Psychological Distress Scale for mental health, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and a short-form Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale. Gay men who reported experiences of sexuality- and age-related discrimination in the past 2 years were more likely to be psychologically distressed and to have lower self-esteem than those who reported no such experiences. However, in a series of hierarchical regressions, those who had experienced either of these types of discrimination were no more likely to be psychologically distressed or to have lower self-esteem if they reported high levels of dispositional mindfulness. Mindfulness appears to attenuate the mental health impact of sexuality- and age-related discrimination among middle-aged and older gay men. Providing mindfulness training in clinical and community settings could be considered as 1 way of assisting this vulnerable group to cope with the impact of stigma and discrimination. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)