Resistance as a form of resilience in sexual and gender minorities: Differential moderating roles of collective action on the discrimination–depression relationship among sexual minority men and women

Chun Ho Randolph CHAN, Winnie W.S. MAK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Background: As a fundamental means for transforming and advancing the conditions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, collective action has gained increasing attention in research, policy, and practice over the past decade. While collective action is influential in driving public awareness and policy changes, less is known about its psychological effects on individuals undertaking collective action.

Methods: The present study developed a scale to measure collective action for LGBT rights and examined the underlying dimensions of collective action in a sample of 1050 LGBT individuals in Hong Kong. The moderating roles of collective action on the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms were also examined.

Results: The LGBT Collective Action Scale measured two dimensions of collective action, i.e., private and public collective action. Private collective action moderated the association between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms among sexual minority men and women; however, the moderating effect of public collective action was only found in sexual minority women.

Conclusions: These differential moderating effects could be attributed to gender role socialization and gender-specific coping mechanisms in response to minority stress. Although public collective action is more powerful in triggering structural changes than private collective action, individuals in less democratic societies may not necessarily have access to public collective action due to the absence of opportunity structures. Private collective action, which is able to be initiated and undertaken individually, can be directed to transform heterosexist biases in interpersonal context. For LGBT individuals in less democratic societies, private collective action may be a more manageable way to maintain mental health in the face of stigmatization. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114056
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume280
Early online dateMay 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Citation

Chan, R. C. H, & Mak, W. W. S. (2021). Resistance as a form of resilience in sexual and gender minorities: Differential moderating roles of collective action on the discrimination–depression relationship among sexual minority men and women. Social Science & Medicine, 280. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114056

Keywords

  • Collective action
  • Gender differences
  • Perceived discrimination
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Lesbian
  • Gay
  • Bisexual
  • Transgender

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