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Open AccessArticle

Mental Health Status and Associated Contributing Factors among Gay Men in China

by Xiaojun Liu 1,2,†, Dongdong Jiang 1,†, Xiangfan Chen 1, Anran Tan 1,3, Yitan Hou 1, Meikun He 1, Yuanan Lu 2,4 and Zongfu Mao 1,2,*
1
School of Health Sciences, Wuhan University, 115# Donghu Road, Wuhan 430071, China
2
Global Health Institute, Wuhan University, 115# Donghu Road, Wuhan 430071, China
3
Global Health Research Center, Duke Kunshan University, 8# Duke Road, Kunshan 215316, China
4
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, 1960 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061065
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 12 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 24 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breakthroughs in LGBT Health Research)
Chinese gay men are preferentially vulnerable to mental health problems because of deep-rooted, traditional social influence that overemphasizes heterosexual marriage, fertility, and filial piety. A cross-sectional survey was conducted from November to December 2017 using the Chinese version of the Symptom Checklist-90-R (SCL-90-R) to assess the status of, and factors associated with the mental health of Chinese gay men. Unadjusted associations between demographic factors and the total score of SCL-90-R were examined using t/F tests or person correlation analysis. The main factors that were most predictive of the aggregate score of SCL-90-R were identified by multiple linear regressions. A total of 367 gay men participated in this survey with an average score of SCL-90-R of 180.78 ± 79.58. The scores of seven dimensions (OCS, INTS, DEPR, ANX, HOS, PHOA, PARI) for Chinese gay men were found to be significantly higher than the national norm (all p < 0.001). Age (B = −1.088, SE = 0.478, p = 0.023), educational level (B = −14.053, SE = 5.270, p = 0.008), and degree of coming out publicly (B = −23.750, SE = 4.690, p < 0.001) were protective factors for participants’ mental health status. A gay man who is the only child in his family was more likely to obtain a higher total score of SCL-90-R in China (B = 59.321, SE = 7.798, p < 0.001). Our study reveals the worrying mental health status of Chinese gay men. Shifts in familial, governmental, and societal normas are suggested to improve the current social acceptance towards sexual minority men, as well as to reduce detrimental health effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chinese gay men; mental health status; influencing factors; symptom checklist-90-R (SCL-90-R) Chinese gay men; mental health status; influencing factors; symptom checklist-90-R (SCL-90-R)
MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, X.; Jiang, D.; Chen, X.; Tan, A.; Hou, Y.; He, M.; Lu, Y.; Mao, Z. Mental Health Status and Associated Contributing Factors among Gay Men in China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1065.

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