Social Milieu and Mediators of Loneliness Among Gay and Bisexual Men in Rural Indiana

Michael J. Li, Randolph Hubach, Brian Dodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Extant research on quality of life in gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) primarily capture the social milieu and psychosocial outcomes of those living in urban rather than rural settings. Much of this can be attributed to the high demand for services in areas with greater concentrations of sexual minorities. As MSM in rural communities are both underrepresented in research and susceptible to social estrangement from each other, our study assessed the impacts of several aspects of their social milieu—recency of access to community resources for gay/bisexual men and time socializing with other gay/bisexual men—on loneliness, as well as the mediating role of perceived connectedness to the local gay/bisexual community on this association. Using purposive sampling and Internet-based direct marketing, we recruited 225 MSM aged 18 or older in rural and mixed rural areas in south-central Indiana. We performed a path analysis to test our hypothesized model. Recency of access to community resources was positively associated with perceived connectedness to the gay/bisexual community, which in turn was protective against loneliness. Findings indicate that improving accessibility to venues or activities for rural MSM could serve to facilitate community-building and benefit their psychosocial well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-346
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2015

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Keywords

  • bisexual
  • community health
  • gay
  • loneliness
  • men who have sex with men
  • psychosocial health
  • rural

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