Spirituality, self-compassion, and anxiety among sexual minority men: a longitudinal mediation analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Anxiety, Stress and Coping




Anxiety; black/Afrocentric psychology; gay men; mediation; self-compassion; spirituality


Background and Objective: Research related to anxiety among sexual minority men (SMM) typically focuses on risk factors. It has seldom examined factors that may be associated with lower levels of anxiety. This gap in the literature represents an opportunity to explore positive psychological factors that may be related to lower levels of anxiety among this group. Spirituality and self-compassion are two positive psychological factors that have been associated with reduced anxiety in general samples but have been understudied among SMM. This study aimed to determine the longitudinal associations between spirituality, self-compassion, and anxiety. Design and Methods: Guided by an Afrocentric psychological framework, we conducted a secondary quantitative analysis with data from a racially and ethnically diverse sample of 697 U.S. SMM. Results: Utilizing Hayes PROCESS Macro Model 4, we found that spirituality at baseline was positively associated with self-compassion at baseline, which in turn was inversely associated with anxiety at 12-month follow-up. Conclusions: Overall, our findings provide evidence that spirituality and self-compassion are two positive psychological factors that are inversely associated with anxiety among SMM.