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Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 25–35 | Cite as

Minority Stress and Attributions for Discriminatory Events Predict Social Anxiety in Gay Men

  • Michelle Nicole Burns
  • Charles Kamen
  • Kenneth A. Lehman
  • Steven R. H. Beach
Original Article

Abstract

This study revealed that attributional style can identify gay men at risk for adverse mental health correlates of discrimination, as well as those resilient in the face of frequent discriminatory events. Men identifying as gay (N = 307) completed online self-reports of social anxiety, perceived frequency of discriminatory events, attributions for discriminatory events, and key minority stress constructs: internalized homonegativity and gay identity development. A new measure was constructed to assess different types of attributions regarding discrimination, with factor analyses yielding promising psychometric properties. Global attributions and the importance ascribed to discrimination were associated with increased social anxiety, above and beyond other minority stress constructs related to mental health in gay men. Attribution style also served as a moderator, as perceived discrimination was only associated with increased social anxiety in gay men who attributed high globality/importance to discriminatory events. Attributions may serve as risk or protective factors in the context of discrimination.

Keywords

Social anxiety Attributions Discrimination Gay men Minority stress 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by a Seed Grant from the University of Georgia Center for Research and Engagement in Diversity, Athens, GA (C. Kamen)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Nicole Burns
    • 1
    • 2
  • Charles Kamen
    • 1
  • Kenneth A. Lehman
    • 2
  • Steven R. H. Beach
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of Preventive MedicineNorthwestern University, Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA

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