Rumination mediates the associations between sexual minority stressors and disordered eating, particularly for men
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Sexual minority individuals experience unique minority stressors leading to negative clinical outcomes, including disordered eating. The psychological mediation framework posits that stress related to discrimination, internalized homonegativity, and concealment makes sexual minority individuals more vulnerable to maladaptive coping processes, such as rumination, known to predict disordered eating. The current study examined the influence of sexual minority stressors and rumination on disordered eating, and whether these associations differed between sexual minority men and women. We hypothesized that perceived discrimination, internalized homonegativity, and concealment would be positively associated with disordered eating, and that rumination about sexual minority stigma would mediate these associations.
One-hundred and sixteen individuals who identified as sexual minorities completed a survey study assessing perceived discrimination, internalized homonegativity, concealment, rumination about sexual minority stigma, and disordered eating.
Discrimination and concealment uniquely predicted disordered eating in both men and women. However, rumination emerged as a significant mediator for concealment and (marginally) for discrimination for men only. Internalized homonegativity was not uniquely associated with rumination or disordered eating for men or women.
Sexual minority men who experience discrimination and conceal their sexual orientation may engage in more disordered eating because they dwell on sexual minority stigma. We propose other potential mechanisms that may be relevant for sexual minority women.
KeywordsSexual minority Discrimination Concealment Rumination Disordered eating
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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