Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Todd M. Moore

Committee Members

Dawn M. Szymanski, Joe Miles


Research on internalized oppression in intersecting identities remains vitally important for the mental health of minority individuals. This study investigates the mediating effect of restriction of affectionate behavior on the relationship between multiple oppressions (i.e, internalized racism, internalized heterosexism, and internalized sexism) and psychological distress in 172 Asian (n = 57) and Latino (n = 115) men who have sex with men. Data were collected using online snowball sampling via Facebook and listservs. Findings revealed that internalized racism and internalized heterosexism were related to psychological distress, and that restrictive affectionate behaviors with other men fully mediated these relationships. That is, these results suggest that internalized racism and internalized heterosexism may lead to a discomfort with expressing affection with other men, which in turn, may lead to psychological distress. Clinical implications for individual and couple interventions are examined, and future directions for research in internalized oppression are discussed.

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