Sociodemographic Factors Contribute to Mental Health Disparities and Access to Services Among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men in New York City

Erik David Storholm, Daniel E. Siconolfi, Perry N. Halkitis, Robert W. Moeller, Jessica A. Eddy, Michael G. Bare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) may be at increased risk for mental health problems including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidality. The overriding goal of the current investigation was to examine mental health and mental health services in a diverse sample of YMSM. We analyzed cross-sectional data from a cohort study of 598 YMSM, including sociodemographics, mental health, and mental health care. We then tested for bivariate associations and used multivariable modeling to predict depression, PTSD, suicidality, and mental health care utilization. Lower socioeconomic status, unstable housing, and school nonenrollment predicted depression and PTSD scores, while unstable housing and school nonenrollment predicted recent suicide attempt(s). These recent suicide attempt(s) also predicted current utilization of counseling or treatment, any history of psychiatric hospitalization, and any history of psychiatric diagnosis. Black and Asian/Pacific Islander (API) men were less likely to have ever accessed mental health counseling or treatment. There were significant class-based differences with regard to mental health outcomes but not mental health services. Further, recent crises (i.e., suicide attempt, hospitalization) were strong predictors of accessing mental health services. Improving the mental health of YMSM requires addressing the underlying structural factors that influence mental health outcomes and service access.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-313
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • YMSM
  • depression
  • mental health
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • sociodemographics
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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