Coming from a religious background may increase the negative experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals (Houp, 2019), but less is known about how the religiosity of the individuals, rather than their family, is related to internalized stigma. While religion often helps improve health and coping skills, it may negatively impact LGBTQ+ people due to the stigma experienced (Valdiserri et al., 2019). This study examined the associations among internalized homonegativity, adverse childhood experiences, and religiosity. The current sample was comprised of 107 community individuals who identified as a sexual minority. A majority (75.21%) of individuals had at least one adverse childhood experience. 30% identified as Christian, 19% identified as Atheists, and 9% identified as Agnostic. These proportions differ substantially from the national average whereby 65% of Americans identified as Christian, 4% as Atheists, 5% as Agnostic (Pew Research Center, 2019). This suggests LGBTQ+ individuals may be less likely to affiliate with a religion compared with the general American population. Additionally, adverse childhood experiences and degree of self-reported religiosity/spirituality were both positively and independently correlated with internalized homonegativity. This research is important to help us understand and support the LGBTQ+ community since it may help religious communities/leaders, and mental health practitioners in the future.
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Bangiyev, Violeta and Ergas, Dana, "Associations Among Internalized Homonegativity, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Religiosity in a Community Sample of Sexual Minority Individuals" (2020). Research Days Posters Spring 2020. 4.