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Rumination mediates the associations between sexual minority stressors and disordered eating, particularly for men

  • Shirley B. WangEmail author
  • Ashley Borders
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

Keywords

Sexual minority Discrimination Concealment Rumination Disordered eating 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

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

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe College of New JerseyEwingUSA

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