“Building that strong energy”: An exploration of stigma coping strategies among sexual and gender minorities in Nigeria.

Cristina Rodriguez-Hart, Cory Bradley, Danielle German, Stefan Baral, Uchenna Ononaku, Olivia Tapkat Dimlong, Trevor A. Crowell, Man Charurat, Rebecca G. Nowak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sexual and gender minority stigma (SGM stigma) affecting Nigerian SGM is associated with suboptimal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) outcomes, and one mechanism found to explain the relationship is suicidal ideation. A better understanding of coping strategies may help mitigate the harmful impacts of SGM stigma. Interviews of 25 SGM from Abuja, Nigeria participating in the TRUST/RV368 study were thematically analyzed in regards to how they coped with SGM stigma. Four coping themes emerged: Avoidant behaviors, self-monitoring so as to not attract stigma, seeking support and safe spaces to be themselves, and empowerment and self-acceptance through a process of cognitive change. They utilized multiple coping strategies, often believing that stigma could be avoided through the right actions and a masculine appearance. Multilevel and person-centered interventions that increase safety and support, facilitate resiliency, and improve mental health and engagement in HIV programming could mitigate the effects of SGM stigma and coping responses of isolation, blame, and mental health stressors among Nigerian SGM. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalStigma and Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • coping
  • Nigeria
  • qualitative
  • sexual and gender minorities
  • sexual stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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