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Effects of traditional and cyber homophobic bullying in childhood on depression, anxiety, and physical pain in emerging adulthood and the moderating effects of social support among gay and bisexual men in Taiwan

Authors Wang CC, Lin HC, Chen MH, Ko NY, Chang YP, Lin IM, Yen CF

Received 4 February 2018

Accepted for publication 22 March 2018

Published 22 May 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 1309—1317

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S164579

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang


Chien-Chuan Wang,1,2 Huang-Chi Lin,2,3 Mu-Hong Chen,4,5 Nai-Ying Ko,6,7 Yu-Ping Chang,8 I-Mei Lin,9 Cheng-Fang Yen2,3

1Zuoying Branch of Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 2Department of Psychiatry, Graduate Institute of Medicine and Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 3Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; 4Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; 5Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; 6Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan; 7Nursing Department and Center for Infection Control, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan; 8School of Nursing, The State University of New York, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA; 9Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Social Science, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Objective: This study examined the differences in the current levels of depression, anxiety, and physical pain in emerging adulthood among gay and bisexual men with various experiences of traditional and cyber homophobic bullying based on gender role nonconformity and sexual orientation and the moderating effects of family and peer support.
Methods: A total of 500 gay or bisexual men (age 20–25 years) in Taiwan were recruited from August 2015 to July 2017. The levels of depression, anxiety, and physical pain among gay or bisexual men who had experienced both traditional and cyber homophobic bullying (n=109), only traditional or cyber bullying (n=173), and neither traditional nor cyber bullying during childhood (n=218) were compared. The moderating effects of family and peer support on the effects of homophobic bullying victimization on depression, anxiety, and physical pain were also examined.
Results: Victims of any type of homophobic bullying in childhood had more severe depression, anxiety, and physical pain in emerging adulthood than nonvictims. Victims of both traditional and cyber homophobic bullying had more severe anxiety in adulthood than victims of only traditional or cyber homophobic bullying. Family but not peer support in childhood moderated the effects of homophobic bullying victimization on current levels of anxiety and physical pain in emerging adulthood among gay and bisexual men.
Conclusion: The results of the present study support that early prevention and intervention for homophobic bullying and enhancement of family support are essential to reduce mental health problems in emergent adults among gay and bisexual men.

Keywords: sexual minority, homophobia, harassment, gender role nonconformity, sexual orientation
 

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