Sexual-Religious Compatibility, Internalized Homonegativity, and Depression and Suicidality in Lesbian. Gay, and Bisexual Individuals from Orthodox Jewish Backgrounds
Many lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals who are raised Orthodox Jewish experience intense internal distress due to conflicts between their sexual and religious identities. This population is also particularly vulnerable to mental health disparities such as depression and suicidality. Previous research suggests that sexual-religious conflict and internalized homonegativity are associated with poor mental health outcomes for other religious LGB groups; however, few studies have explored the roles of those factors on mental health outcomes for LGB Orthodox Jewish individuals. The present study hypothesized that sexual-religious compatibility, or the opposite of sexual-religious conflict, would be associated negatively with depressive symptoms and suicidality; that internalized homonegativity would mediate those relationships; and that centrality of Orthodox Jewish identity would moderate the direct and indirect associations of sexual-religious compatibility with depressive symptoms and suicidality. Participants identified as LGB or endorsed same-sex attraction, were either Orthodox Jewish or ex-Orthodox Jewish, were over 18 years of age, and lived in Israel or the U.S. A total of 146 individuals participated in the study and completed an online survey with the study measures. Results found that, contrary to hypotheses, depressive symptoms and suicidality were not significantly associated with sexual-religious compatibility, internalized homonegativity, or Orthodox Jewish centrality. However, Orthodox Jewish identity centrality was positively associated with sexual-religious compatibility and internalized homonegativity. Outness was also positively associated with sexual-religious compatibility and negatively associated with internalized homonegativity, depressive symptoms. and suicidality. Future research should gather more comprehensive data, include a greater representation of Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish individuals, and consider the role of family and peer support. Implications for practice include avoiding assumptions, helping clients find individualized responses to sexual-religious conflict, and helping clients increase their outness as they feel ready to do so.
Clinical psychology|Psychology|Social psychology
Levin, Giselle, "Sexual-Religious Compatibility, Internalized Homonegativity, and Depression and Suicidality in Lesbian. Gay, and Bisexual Individuals from Orthodox Jewish Backgrounds" (2020). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI28289015.
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