The Impact of Religious Faith and Internalized Homonegativity on Resiliency for Black Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Emerging Adults

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Abstract

Religious faith has been instrumental in fostering positive mental health outcomes for historically disenfranchised populations, such as Black Americans. However, the religious institutional devaluing of same-sex behavior and identity fuels internalized homonegativity (i.e., negative thoughts regarding one’s same-sex sexual behavior) for nonheterosexual congregants. This study sought to examine the relations between religious faith, internalized homonegativity, and resiliency for Black lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) emerging adults. One hundred seventy-five Black LGB emerging adults, ranging in age between 18 and 25 years old, completed an online survey designed to examine multiple identities and psychological well-being. Utilizing hierarchical linear regression, we found that internalized homonegativity moderated the relationship between religious faith and resiliency. Religious faith was a significant contributor to resiliency when the participant concurrently reported high internalized homonegativity. This finding highlights the importance of understanding the complex interplay of religious faith, internalized homonegativity, and resiliency for Black LGB emerging adults.

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