Social Support and the Mental Health of Older Gay Men: Findings From a National Community-Based Survey Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examines different types and sources of social support in relation to psychological distress levels among older Australian gay men. A national community-based survey was conducted involving 242 gay-identified men aged 50 years and older. In univariable regressions, psychological distress was less likely if men were receiving emotional support, practical support, or had a sense of belonging, and also if they had a greater number of close friends and received some or a lot of support from family and gay friends but not from straight friends. Of all these factors, a multivariable regression showed that receiving emotional support was the only significant independent factor. Emotional support appears to play a greater role in the mental health of older gay men than many other types and sources of support. Ensuring access to emotional support may need to be considered when promoting healthier aging among gay men.

publication date

  • 2016