Age Discrimination and Depressive Symptoms among Midlife and Older Gay-Identified Men

Frederick Harig, University of California, Los Angeles
Richard G. Wight, University of California, Los Angeles

We examine the relationship between age discrimination and depressive symptoms among midlife and older gay men, controlling for 28-year historical depressive symptom trajectories. Data are from the UCLA site of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study and the 2013 Aging, Stress, and Health among Gay Men study. The analytic sample is comprised of gay identified men (N=312); mean age=60.6 years; 38.78% HIV-positive. Multivariate regression models include health, HIV status, sociodemographic characteristics, and lifetime gay-related discrimination. Net of all control variables, age discrimination was positively associated with depressive symptoms (p < 0.001). This relationship was mediated (p < 0.05) by mattering, a significant (p < 0.001) predictor of depressive symptoms. Among these aging gay men, age discrimination is a powerful source of stress that is harmful to mental health, above and beyond the influence of depressive symptom histories and lifetime gay-related discrimination. Mattering may alleviate the psychological distress of age discrimination.

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Presented in Session 176: Sexual Orientation and Mental Health Outcomes