Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Stacey L. Williams

Committee Members

Julia Dodd, Diana Morelen, Abigail Mann


Black Same-Gender Loving Men (BSGLM) are a population at the juncture of multiple marginalized identities, which may make it difficult to successfully form their identity due to experienced racism and heterosexism from communities to which they belong. Current paradigms of racial/ethnic and sexual identity do not fully capture the complexities of identity development among BSGLM. Moreover, there is scant literature available detailing what the process of identity development looks like among this population and which factors influence identity development among BSGLM. As such, the current study used an exploratory sequential mixed methods design to first discover what healthy identity looks like among BSGLM and which factors influence the process of developing a healthy identity. The study then empirically tested the elucidated factors in order to understand which of them influence identity development among BSGLM. First, a sample of BSGLM living in the U.S. (n = 19) were recruited via online and interviewed for the qualitative phase of the study about their identity development process. Using a Grounded Theory approach, the qualitative data revealed three unique components of healthy identity among BSGLM (e.g., self-affirmation, freedom from social conventions, having unconditional acceptance) and 13 factors that either inhibited or facilitated their identity development process. Qualitative findings were subsequently used to create a survey battery to quantitatively explore the relationships between the identified factors and components of healthy identity among another sample of BSGLM. The generated survey battery was administered to another sample of BSGLM living in the U.S. (n = 54) recruited from social media and organizations that service BSGLM. Bivariate correlations and multiple regression analyses examined inhibiting and facilitating factors as predictors of healthy identity. Findings revealed that minority stress-related factors were robust predictors of healthy identity. Specifically, rejection sensitivity from one’s family negatively predicted self-affirmation, frustration with concealing one’s sexual identity positively predicted freedom from social conventions, and experiencing threats/violence positively predicted unconditional acceptance. Results from the study may contribute to the refinement of identity development models among BSGLM and inform clinical interventions that bolster identity development among BSGLM such as transdiagnostic interventions that target minority stress and identity-related concerns.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Wednesday, July 10, 2024