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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

NYU: Father Support Protects Against Negative Effects of Discrimination for Sexual Minorities

A new study co-authored by Dr. Stephanie Cook, assistant professor of biostatistics and social and behavioral sciences, and Dr. Erica Wood, doctoral student with New York University College of Global Public Health, was published in Psychoneuroendocrinology entitled “Father support is protective against the negative effects of perceived discrimination on CRP among sexual minorities but not heterosexuals.”

Exposure to sexual orientation-related discrimination among sexual minorities may lead to elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) as compared to their heterosexual counterparts. However, little is known about factors that may buffer the association between discrimination and CRP among sexual minorities versus heterosexuals. The current study examined if the association between discrimination, sexual orientation, and CRP differed across levels of social support from one’s father/father-figure or mother/mother-figure between sexual minorities and heterosexuals.

Results found that father support significantly moderated the association between discrimination and CRP among sexual minorities but not heterosexuals. Sexual minorities with higher father support and who experienced discrimination had lower CRP as compared to those with lower father support and who experienced discrimination. This study advises that future research should examine the potential differential role that father support may play in reducing cardiovascular risk among sexual minorities versus heterosexuals who experience discrimination.

Read press release.

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