Several studies have shown that internalized homophobia is a risk factor for mental health illness in homosexual individuals, whereas the perception of social support is a protective factor for their psychological well-being. In line with those studies, the present research has investigated the levels of internalized homophobia, anxiety, depression and social support, among two groups of gay men and lesbian individuals living in two European countries (N = 194: 86 Italian and 108 Belgian), where legislations grant different civil rights to lesbian and gay individuals (LG). The main goal of this research has been to verify the possible differences between the two groups. Results showed some significant differences in terms of observed levels of internalized homophobia, which was higher in the Belgian gay men’s group compared to the Italian one. Furthermore, path analysis emphasized the role of social support as a potential factor of mediation between internalized homophobia and mental health.
Lorenzi, G., Miscioscia, M., Ronconi, L., Pasquali, C., & Simonelli, A. (2015). Internalized Stigma and Psychological Well-Being in Gay Men and Lesbians in Italy and Belgium. Social Sciences, 4(4), 1229–1242. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci4041229