Acceptance concerns and internalised homonegativity are associated with deleterious health outcomes for sexual minority persons, including psychological stress. However, previous studies examining the effects of proximal minority stressors (including acceptance concerns and internalised homonegativity) on stress have been limited by their cross-sectional approach. The present study extends past research by examining the temporal relationship between two minority stress processes–acceptance concerns and internalised homonegativity–and perceived stress. Ninety-four sexual minority participants (M = 25.6 years; SD = 9.1 years) recruited from American university listservs completed online measures assessing minority stress and perceived stress. Then, one year later, participants completed the same measure of perceived stress. Structural equation modelling of latent variables examined effects of minority stress on perceived stress one year later, controlling for perceived stress at the initial time of data collection. Analyses revealed that internalised homonegativity–but not acceptance concerns–predicted perceived stress one year later. Implications at the macrolevel and microlevel are discussed, including important and relevant public policy directions to help ameliorate mental health disparities in sexual minority populations. We also identify strategies for policy and health professionals, such as enacting inclusive policies and recognising and celebrating the strengths of sexual minority individuals.
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- Sexual minority
- internalised homonegativity
- minority stress