In this study, we investigated if a single-item indicator measured the degree to which people were open about their same-sex attraction (“out”) as accurately as a multi-item scale. For the multi-item scale, we used the Outness Inventory, which includes three subscales: family, world, and religion. We examined correlations between the single- and multi-item measures; between the single-item indicator and the subscales of the multi-item scale; and between the measures and internalized homonegativity, social attitudes towards homosexuality, and depressive symptoms. In addition, we calculated Tjur’s R2 as a measure of predictive power of the single-item indicator, multi-item scale, and subscales of the multi-item scale in predicting two health-related outcomes: depressive symptoms and condomless anal sex with multiple partners. There was a strong correlation between the single- and multi-item measures (r = 0.73). Furthermore, there were strong correlations between the single-item indicator and each subscale of the multi-item scale: family (r = 0.70), world (r = 0.77), and religion (r = 0.50). In addition, the correlations between the single-item indicator and internalized homonegativity (r = −0.63), social attitudes towards homosexuality (r = −0.38), and depression (r = −0.14) were higher than those between the multi-item scale and internalized homonegativity (r = −0.55), social attitudes towards homosexuality (r = −0.21), and depression (r = −0.13). Contrary to the premise that multi-item measures are superior to single-item measures, our collective findings indicate that the single-item indicator of outness performs better than the multi-item scale of outness.
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© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.
- Internalized homophobia
- Male homosexuality
- Sexual orientation