Date of Conferral







Timothy Lionetti


Personality factors and coping styles may affect how individuals will respond to the lack of social support. The purpose of this descriptive design was to examine the relationship between social support and health risk implications in gay men, which is a population that is under-represented in the research literature in regard to this topic. The theoretical framework guiding this study was the social stress model, which posits that stress and support are related to mental health outcomes. A sample of 76 gay men were recruited from Craigslist ad to participate in this study. They completed self -report questionnaires anonymously online, including a personality questionnaire, (the NEO FF1-3), a social support questionnaire, (the Interpersonal Evaluation List), a health risk questionnaire, (the SF12), and a coping questionnaire, (the Coping Schemas Inventory). A multiple regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between social support, personality characteristics, coping styles, and health risks. The findings included a significant positive predictive relationship between lack of social support and the dependent variables of health risks and coping styles in participants who also scored high on the personality trait Neuroticism. There were no associations between social support and the dependent variables in individuals scoring high on the personality trait Conscientiousness. Positive social change implications include an increased knowledge that may allow individuals and health care providers to engage in treatment and programs that can be designed to help gay men deal more effectively with lack of social support, which may in turn reduce health care risks in this population.