Faculty Advisor

Douglas Bruce, PhD


Excess risk for poor mental health outcomes has been found within sexual minority populations. This study aimed to examine factors that may contribute to depression rates within two populations of YMSM in Denver and Chicago. 100 HIV-positive and 100 HIV-negative YMSM completed a survey regarding demographic information, minority stress (such as same-sex stigma), and perceived neighborhood disorder. Chicago participants reported higher rates of neighborhood disorder, history of incarceration, and being kicked out of a parent’s house, variables predicted to be positively correlated with depression. Surprisingly, it was found that YMSM in Denver were significantly more likely to have depressive symptoms than YMSM in Chicago. In addition, internalization of same-sex stigma, and more significantly city location, were found to increase depression odds. The results indicate that depression rates may be influenced by unmeasured variables that vary between the two cities. Further research should examine other variables that contribute to the difference in depression rates among YMSM in varying city environments.