The Hostile-World Scenario and Mental Health Concomitants Among Gays and Lesbians

Geva Shenkman*, Dov Shmotkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We explored the hostile-world scenario (HWS) and its association with mental health among 219 Israeli gays and lesbians. HWS refers to the individual's image of threats to one's physical and mental integrity. We analyzed HWS items distinguishing gays and lesbians from comparative heterosexuals. Factor analysis indicated themes of disastrous thoughts and social concerns for gays and lesbians, and a theme of victimization for gay men. Higher endorsement of these themes correlated with lower subjective well-being, higher depressive symptoms, three of the five Big Five traits (higher neuroticism, lower conscientiousness, and lower agreeableness), and lower self-acceptance of one's sexual orientation. The results indicate HWS-related vulnerability among gays and lesbians. The study is discussed in relation to minority stress theory and offers practitioners a framework of unique concerns that preoccupy members of the sampled populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-86
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 7 Jan 2016


  • Big Five
  • depressive symptoms
  • gays and lesbians
  • hostile-world scenario
  • mental health
  • subjective well-being


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