Police harassment and psychosocial vulnerability, distress, and depressive symptoms among black men who have sex with men in the U.S. Longitudinal analysis of HPTN 061

Molly Remch, Dustin T. Duncan, Amanda Geller, Rodman Turpin, Typhanye Dyer, Joy D. Scheidell, Charles M. Cleland, Jay S. Kaufman, Russell Brewer, Christopher Hucks-Ortiz, Willem van der Mei, Kenneth H. Mayer, Maria R. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The mental health impact of exposure to police harassment is understudied, particularly among Black men who have sex with men (BMSM), a group at elevated risk of exposure to such discrimination. This study aimed to identify the associations among BMSM between recent police harassment and psychosocial vulnerability, psychological distress, and depression measured six months later. Data come from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 061 Study, a cohort study of BMSM recruited in 6 U.S. cities (Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, and Washington DC). Participants completed baseline, 6-month follow-up, and 12-month follow-up interviews. A convenience sample of 1553 BMSM was recruited between July 2009 and October 2010 of whom 1155 returned for a follow-up interview 12 months later. Accounting for previous police interaction, poverty, psychopathology, drug use, and alcohol use, we estimated associations between recent police harassment reported at the 6 month follow-up interview and 12 month outcomes including psychosocial vulnerability (elevated racial/sexual identity incongruence), psychological distress (being distressed by experiences of racism and/or homophobia), and depression. About 60% of men reported experiencing police harassment between the baseline and 6-month interview due to their race and/or sexuality. Adjusted analyses suggested police harassment was independently associated with a 10.81 (95% CI: 7.97, 13.66) point increase and 8.68 (95% CI: 6.06, 11.30) point increase in distress due to experienced racism and distress due to experienced homophobia scores, respectively. Police harassment perceived to be dually motivated predicted disproportionate levels of distress. Police harassment is prevalent and associated with negative influences on psychosocial vulnerability and psychological distress among BMSM. Reducing exposure to police harassment may improve the psychosocial health of BMSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100753
JournalSSM - Population Health
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Black men who have sex with men
  • Mental health
  • Minority health
  • Police
  • Racism
  • Sexual minority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Police harassment and psychosocial vulnerability, distress, and depressive symptoms among black men who have sex with men in the U.S. Longitudinal analysis of HPTN 061'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this