Date: Monday, 14th September
Time : 12 Noon
Venue: Keats Reading Room (Callaghan with video to Ourimbah)
Psychosocial Wellbeing and Gay Identity Development: An intersection of Social Psychology and Clinical Psychology
Since 1973, mental health professionals have rejected the historical view of homosexuality as being inherently pathological (American Psychiatric Association, 1973; Le Vay, 1996). However, research shows that some, but not all, gay men are at increased risk of a range of difficulties, including substance use, depression, anxiety, and suicide (e.g., Ashman, 2004; Fergusson, Horwood, & Beautrais, 1999; Gonsiorek, 1988; Kulkin, Chauvin, & Percle, 2000; Meyer, 2003). The current presentation is based upon Dr Halpin’s PhD research, which aimed to investigate (a) whether psychosocial well-being varied according to stage of gay identity development based on Cass’ (1979) model of homosexual identity formation (HIF); and (b) why such stage-based variations in well-being might occur. The presentation will commence with a brief history of Western views on homosexuality, followed by a presentation of four research studies. There will also be some reflection on social changes that have happened since the completion of the PhD, and discussion of how these demonstrate the fluid nature of societal influences on mental health and well-being.