Personal Justice Beliefs, Everyday Discrimination, and Carotid Intima Media Thickness in Sexual Minority Men

Leah Maschino, Stephanie Cook, Todd Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) disproportionately affects sexual minority men (SMM) and is linked to discrimination-related stress. Belief in a just world—including the belief that one personally gets what one deserves (personal justice beliefs)—is a coping strategy that can protect against discrimination-related stress and CVD risk. Here, we examine links between personal justice beliefs, perceived everyday discrimination, and carotid intima media thickness (cIMT)—a measure of atherosclerosis that can indicate subclinical CVD. Method: Sexual minority White (29%) and racial minority (African American 18.8%, mixed/other 44.9%) male young adults (N = 69) completed measures of personal justice beliefs and everyday discrimination. cIMT imaging was used to compute common carotid artery (CCA) intima media thickness. Results: Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed associations between justice beliefs, perceived discrimination, and cIMT that were moderated by age. Consistent with prior research, personal justice beliefs predicted less perceived discrimination, especially among older SMM. However, personal justice beliefs were also linked to greater rather than less CCA among older SMM. Conclusions: Relationships between believing in justice and CVD may be complex among minority groups. Among SMM, the belief in personal justice may reduce perceived discrimination, but may be simultaneously deleteriously associated with biological processes that underlie CVD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024


  • cardiovascular disease risk
  • minority stress
  • personal justice beliefs
  • racial discrimination
  • sexual minority men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Personal Justice Beliefs, Everyday Discrimination, and Carotid Intima Media Thickness in Sexual Minority Men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this