This research examined whether a sense of belonging in the community and sexual orientation were associated with depression among men. Australian heterosexual (n=136) and gay (n=137) men wre recruited through a variety of media, including newpapers, radio, and email, and directly at public events and in the street. Responses on the Sense of Belonging Instrument and the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scales indicated that gay ment reported lower levels of sense of belonging to the community and higher levels of depression compared with heterosexual men. Results revealed that sense of belonging to the community mediated the relation between sexual orientation and depression. The findings did not support the additive or moderation models. The results imply that, for the mental health of gay men to improve, their sense of belonging needs to increase but that a reduction in the level of homophobia in the general community would seem necessary for this to occur.
Sense of belonging has been regarded as important for mental health. This study investigated sense of belonging to the general community and sense of belonging to the gay community as predictors of depression among self-identified Australian gay men (N = 137). Participants completed the Psychological subscale of the Sense of Belonging Instrument and the Depression subscale of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales. Results offered support for the additive model and suggested that sense of belonging to the general community partially mediated the relation between sense of belonging to the gay community and depression, as well as the reverse, that sense of belonging to the gay community partially mediated the relation between sense of belonging to the general community and depression. Findings failed to support a moderation effect model. Results indicate that increasing a sense of belonging to both communities will be associated with a decrease in levels of depression reported by gay men. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of International Journal of Men's Health is the property of Men's Studies Press and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)