The relationship of depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and sexual behaviors in a predominantly hispanic sample of men who have sex with men

Joseph P. De Santis, Jessie M. Colin, Elias Provencio Vasquez, Gail C. McCain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite public health campaigns and safer sex messages, many men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to participate in high-risk sexual behaviors, which may make them vulnerable to HIV infection and sexually transmitted infections. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and sexual behaviors in a predominantly Hispanic sample of MSM. This correlational study sampled 205 MSM (M = 37 years of age, SD = ±8) representing the diverse ethnic composition of South Florida. This sample consisted of ethnic minorities (79%) with a large number of foreign-born men (69%). Participants completed measures of depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and sexual behaviors. Results indicated that higher levels of depressive symptoms and higher levels of self-esteem had a statistically significant relationship to lower levels of safer sexual behaviors. Lower income, lower educational level, and preference for Spanish language were associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms; lower income was associated with lower levels of self-esteem; and foreign birth and a preference for Spanish language were associated with lower levels of safer sex behaviors. Higher levels of depressive symptoms and higher levels of self-esteem were associated with high-risk sexual behaviors in this sample of MSM. Further research needs to be directed at culturally specific mental health and HIV prevention strategies for these vulnerable MSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-321
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 10 2008

Keywords

  • Cuban Americans
  • Depression
  • Ethnicity
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Homosexuality
  • Self-concept
  • Sexual behavior
  • Vulnerable populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)

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