Differences by Emotion Regulation in the Association Between Discrimination and Tobacco Use Among Sexual Minority Young Adults

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of homosexuality




Emotion regulation; LGB; discrimination; e-cigarette; sexual minority; tobacco


Little research has examined factors, such as emotion regulation strategies, that amplify or mitigate associations between discrimination and tobacco use among sexual minority young adults (SMYAs). SM-identifying YA (ages 18-34) women ( = 450;  = 24.11; 31.1% racial or ethnic minority) and men ( = 254;  = 24.68; 28.0% racial or ethnic minority) residing in 6 US metropolitan areas were surveyed. Bivariate analyses examined associations of sociodemographics (i.e. age, race, ethnicity, education), discrimination, and emotion regulation strategies (i.e. cognitive reappraisal, expressive suppression) with tobacco use outcomes (i.e. past 30-day cigarette, e-cigarette, other tobacco [aggregated across cigars, hookah] use). Multivariable logistic regressions were built for each tobacco use outcome and included sociodemographic covariates, discrimination and emotion regulation strategies, and interactions between discrimination and emotion regulation strategies. Among SMYA women, a significant interaction of discrimination and cognitive reappraisal indicated that discrimination was associated with greater odds of past 30-day e-cigarette use only among women with lower levels of cognitive reappraisal. Discrimination and emotion regulation were not significantly associated with tobacco use among men. SMYA women with lesser use of cognitive reappraisal may be at heightened risk for e-cigarette use if they experience discrimination. Tobacco cessation programs for SM women should incorporate emotion regulation skills.


Prevention and Community Health