Loneliness and sexual risk behavior in gay men

James I. Martin, Jo Knox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined loneliness in a sample of gay men and its association with unprotected anal intercourse, social support, instability of self-esteem, intimacy, and coping. A sample of 470 urban gay men completed a self-administered questionnaire. Participants scored high on Loneliness in comparison to other samples. Measures of Intimacy, Social Support, Instability of Self-esteem, monogamous relationship status, and use of Avoidance Coping predicted 58.5% of the variance in Loneliness scores. Both social and psychological variables appear to be important for understanding loneliness in this population. Men who had unprotected anal intercourse with nonprimary partners during the previous six months scored higher on Loneliness than other participants, but those who did so with primary partners scored the lowest. Episodes of unprotected anal intercourse with nonprimary partners might have been Avoidance strategies to help participants cope with loneliness or other negative affect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-825
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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