Program

Oral
July 29, 2016 14:10 - 15:40
OR29-58-2

Social milieu and loneliness among rural gay/bisexual men: Improving accessibility as a means to better health

[Speaker] Hubach, Randolph D:1
[Co-author] Li, Michael J:2, Dodge, Brain:3
1:Oklahoma State University (United States of America), 2:University of Southern California (United States of America), 3:Indiana University (United States of America)

Extant research on quality of life in men who have sex with men (MSM) primarily capture the social milieu and psychosocial outcomes of those living in urban settings rather than in rural settings. As MSM in rural communities are both underrepresented in research and susceptible to social estrangement from each other, our study assessed the impacts of several aspects of their social milieu on loneliness, as well as the mediating effects of perceived connectedness to the local gay/bisexual community on this association. We recruited 225 MSM aged 18 or older in rural areas. SEM was utilized to analyze paths between our study variables. Recency of access to community resources was positively associated with perceived connectedness to the gay/bisexual community, which in turn was protective against loneliness. Our findings indicate that improving accessibility to venues or activities for rural MSM could serve to facilitate community-building and benefit their psychosocial well-being.
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