Intersectional experiences, stigma-related stress, and psychological health among Black LGBQ individuals

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2020 May;88(5):416-428. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000489. Epub 2020 Feb 24.


Objectives: We used microlongitudinal methods to examine the prevalence and day-to-day correlates of intersectional experiences (IEs) in a U.S. sample of 131 Black sexual minorities.

Method: Participants were 97 gay/lesbian people (74.0%) and 34 bisexuals (26.0%); nearly a third of the sample also identified as queer (32.1%). Most participants identified solely as Black; however, 23 participants (17.6%) indicated at least 1 secondary racial/ethnic identification. Every evening for 1 week, participants reported both negative and positive IEs from the last 24 hr and completed measures of identity conflict, rumination, and affect. Multilevel path analysis was used to test daily relations between IEs and mood-as well as the mediating roles of identity conflict and rumination-at the within- and between-person levels, controlling for nonintersectional experiences (e.g., related only to race, related only to sexual orientation, unrelated to identity).

Results: Negative IEs (n = 97, 11.4% of total days) were related with identity conflict and negative affect at both levels of analysis and with negative rumination at the within-person level only. Positive IEs (n = 263, 31.0% of total days) predicted positive rumination and positive affect (but not identity conflict) both within and between persons. Many hypothesized indirect paths were supported-for example, identity conflict and rumination mediated the relation between negative IEs and negative affect at the within-person level.

Conclusion: Building upon accumulating research linking stigma and health, this study demonstrates that multiple axes of oppression can jointly shape daily events and predict fluctuations in psychological health. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities / psychology*
  • Social Stigma*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*