Measuring Community Connectedness among Diverse Sexual Minority Populations

Published: April 19, 2011

Abstract

Theory and research agree that connectedness to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community is an important construct to account for in understanding issues related to health and well-being among gay and bisexual men. However, the measurement of this construct among lesbian and bisexual women or racial and ethnic minority individuals has not yet been adequately investigated. This study examined the reliability and validity of an existing measure of connectedness to the LGBT Community among a diverse group of sexual minority individuals in New York City, and whether differences in connectedness existed across gender and race or ethnicity. Scores on the measure demonstrated both internal consistency and construct stability across subgroups defined by gender and race or ethnicity. The subgroups did not differ in their mean levels of connectedness, and scores on the measure demonstrated factorial, convergent, and discriminant validity, both generally and within each of the subgroups. Inconsistencies were observed with regard to which scores on the measure demonstrated predictive validity in their associations with indicators of mental health and well-being. The scale is a useful tool for researchers and practitioners interested in understanding the role of community connectedness in the lives of diverse populations of sexual minority individuals

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