Informal social support and depression among african american men who have sex with men

Cui Yang, Carl Latkin, Karin Tobin, Jocelyn Patterson, Pilgrim Spikes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Men who have sex with men (MSM) experience greater mental health problems as compared with heterosexual populations. Informal social support plays a critical role in emotional well-being. The primary goal of this article is to examine the relationship between depressive symptoms and received social support from family, friends, and sex partners within the social network from a sample of 188 African American MSM in Baltimore, Maryland. We found that receiving emotional support from a family member or a sex partner was associated with reduced odds of having depressive symptoms. Receiving financial support from a family member or a friend was associated with increased odds of having depressive symptoms. The results suggest the importance of emotional support provided by family and sex partner in mental health and the potential value of training African American MSM in skills to enhance the quality of the relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-445
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of community psychology
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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