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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 8962-8983; doi:10.3390/ijerph110908962

Examination of Spatial Polygamy among Young Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men in New York City: The P18 Cohort Study

1,2,3,4,* , 1,2,4,5
and
1,2,3,4,5,6
1
Department of Population Health, School of Medicine, New York University, New York, NY 10016, USA
2
Global Institute of Public Health, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
3
Population Center, New York University, New York, NY 10012, USA
4
Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
5
Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
6
Department of Applied Psychology, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 May 2014 / Revised: 21 August 2014 / Accepted: 22 August 2014 / Published: 28 August 2014
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Abstract

The few previous studies examining the influence of the neighborhood context on health and health behavior among young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (YMSM) have predominantly focused on residential neighborhoods. No studies have examined multiple neighborhood contexts among YMSM or the relationships between sociodemographic characteristics, psychosocial factors, social support network characteristics, health behaviors, and neighborhood concordance. In this study, we assessed spatial polygamy by determining the amount of concordance between residential, social, and sex neighborhoods (defined as boroughs) in addition to examining individual-level characteristics that may be associated with neighborhood concordance. These data come from the baseline assessment of Project 18, a cohort of racially and ethnically diverse YMSM residing in the New York City metropolitan area. Participants (N = 598) provided information on their residential, social, and sex boroughs as well as information on their sociodemographic characteristics, psychosocial factors, social support network characteristics, and health behaviors (e.g., substance use and condomless sex). Descriptive analyses were conducted to examine the distribution of boroughs reported across all three contexts, i.e., residential, social, and sex boroughs. Next, concordance between: (1) residential and social boroughs; (2) residential and sex boroughs; (3) social and sex boroughs; and (4) residential, social, and sex boroughs was assessed. Finally, bivariable analyses were conducted to examine the relationships between sociodemographic characteristics, psychosocial factors, social support network characteristics, and health behaviors in relation to borough concordance. Approximately two-thirds of participants reported concordance between residential/socializing, residential/sex, and sex/socializing boroughs, whereas 25% reported concordance between all three residential/socializing/sex boroughs. Borough concordance varied by some individual-level characteristics. For example, White YMSM and YMSM reporting lower perceived socioeconomic status were significantly more likely to report residential/socializing/sex borough concordance (p < 0.001). With regard to psychosocial factors, YMSM who reported experiencing gay-related stigma in public forums were more likely to report discordant socializing/sex and residential/socializing/sex boroughs (p < 0.001). Greater frequency of communication with network members (>weekly) was associated with less residential/social borough concordance (p < 0.05). YMSM who reported residential/socializing/sex borough concordance were more likely to report recent (last 30 days) alcohol use, recent marijuana use, and recently engaging in condomless oral sex (all p < 0.05). These findings suggest that spatial polygamy, or an individual moving across and experiencing multiple neighborhood contexts, is prevalent among urban YMSM and that spatial polygamy varies by multiple individual-level characteristics. Future research among YMSM populations should consider multiple neighborhood contexts in order to provide a more nuanced understanding of how and which neighborhood contexts influence the health and well-being of YMSM. This further examination of spatial polygamy (and individual-level characteristics associated with it) may increase understanding of the most appropriate locations for targeted disease prevention and health promotion interventions (e.g., HIV prevention interventions). View Full-Text
Keywords: spatial polygamy; neighborhoods; gay men’s health spatial polygamy; neighborhoods; gay men’s health
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Duncan, D.T.; Kapadia, F.; Halkitis, P.N. Examination of Spatial Polygamy among Young Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men in New York City: The P18 Cohort Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 8962-8983.

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