The Unique Effects of Identity Centrality Across Domains on Mental Health in Latinx Sexual Minoritized Emerging Adults

Date

2024

Authors

Cruz, Bethany

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Abstract

Emerging adults who identify as both ethnic/racial and sexual minoritized individual are exposed to multiple dimensions of discrimination, resulting in an even greater increase in the presence of internalizing symptoms due to experiences of unique co-occurring stigmas. Although research has focused on the impact of identity domains on psychosocial functioning separately, the interplay between various identity domains among ethnic/racial SMEA remains understudied. Addressing this gap, the present study sought to examine the unique associations between personal, cultural (i.e., ethnic/racial and U.S.), and sexual orientation identity centrality with psychosocial functioning (i.e., symptoms of anxiety and depression, psychological well-being), and determine the extent to which these identity domains moderate the relationship between discrimination and psychosocial functioning among a sample of 220 (74.1% female, Mage=20.13 years, SD=1.43, 18-24 years old) Latinx SMEA. Results indicated that while both personal identity and ethnic/racial identity centrality were positively associated with psychological well-being, U.S. identity was negatively associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Additionally, sexual orientation identity centrality was negatively associated with symptoms of depression. Results also demonstrated that ethnic/racial and sexual orientation-based discrimination was positively associated symptoms of anxiety and depression. Sexual orientation-based discrimination was also negatively associated with psychological well-being, but only when personal identity centrality was high. These findings contribute to the existing intersectional literature on the experiences of Latinx SMEA and provide support for existing theories that note the importance of developing a positive sense of self, particularly within minoritized populations.

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Keywords

Discrimination, Hispanic/Latinx, Identity centrality, Sexual minorities

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Department

Psychology