Background. This study examined the time-variant association between daily minority stress and daily affect among gay and bisexual men. Tests of time-lagged associations allow for a stronger causal examination of minority stress-affect associations compared with static assessments. Multilevel modeling allows for comparison of associations between minority stress and daily affect when minority stress is modeled as a between-person factor and a within-person time-fluctuating state.
Methods. 371 gay and bisexual men in New York City completed a 30-day daily diary, recording daily experiences of minority stress and positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), and anxious affect (AA). Multilevel analyses examined associations between minority stress and affect in both same-day and time-lagged analyses, with minority stress assessed as both a between-person factor and a within-person state.
Results. Daily minority stress, modeled as both a between-person and within-person construct, significantly predicted lower PA and higher NA and AA. Daily minority stress also predicted lower subsequent-day PA and higher subsequent-day NA and AA.
Limitations. Self-report assessments and the unique sample may limit generalizability of this study.
Conclusions. The time-variant association between sexual minority stress and affect found here substantiates the basic tenet of minority stress theory with a fine-grained analysis of gay and bisexual men’s daily experience. Time-lagged effects suggest a potentially causal pathway between minority stress as a social determinant of mood and anxiety disorder symptoms among gay and bisexual men. When modeled as both a between-person factor and within-person state, minority stress demonstrated expected patterns with affect.