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Perceived social support as a protective factor against psychological distress in the context of COVID-19-related stress and sexual minority status in Nigeria.

Oginni, Olakunle A., Ogunbajo, Adedotun, Oke, Temitope O., Ibigbami, Olanrewaju, Okanlawon, Kehinde, Oloniniyi, Ibidunni O., Abu-Ba'are, Gamji Rabiu, Mapayi, Boladale M. and Mosaku, Kolawole S. 2023. Perceived social support as a protective factor against psychological distress in the context of COVID-19-related stress and sexual minority status in Nigeria. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity 10.1037/sgd0000637

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Abstract

Sexual minority individuals report higher COVID-19-related stress that may mediate higher psychological distress. However, this relationship and the role of social support have not been investigated in low/middle-income settings like Nigeria. Our study tested independent associations of psychological distress with sexual orientation, COVID-19-related stress, and perceived social support and whether perceived social support moderated these relationships. In an online survey, 966 Nigerians (21.7% sexual minority, n = 210) were assessed for sexual orientation, COVID-19-related stress, and perceived social support, and psychological distress. Sexual minority status was associated with higher COVD-19-related stress (r = .13, 95% CI [0.06, 0.19]), perceived social support (r = .07, [0.01, 0.13]), and psychological distress (r = .09, [0.02, 0.17]). Furthermore, we demonstrated two moderation effects: psychological distress was highest among sexual minority participants with low perceived social support and lowest among heterosexual participants with high perceived social support (β = 0.09, [0.02, 0.16]). Among sexual minorities, the association between COVID-19-related stress and psychological distress was strongest and weakest among those with low and high perceived social support, respectively, but this effect was absent among heterosexual participants (β = −0.14, [−0.21, −0.06]). Our finding suggests social support as a protective mechanism against adverse health outcomes among heterosexual and sexual minority individuals in Nigeria.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 2329-0390
Date of Acceptance: 21 January 2023
Last Modified: 22 May 2024 09:00
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/168284

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