The HIV epidemic continues to disproportionately impact marginalized populations, where one in two Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. The lack of research regarding the wellness of Black men who have sex with men living with HIV (BMSM+) inhibits understanding, which could hinder professions missioned with bettering the wellness of BMSM+. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to investigate if resilience and empowerment predict BMSM+'s wellness. However, a lack of internal consistency among the empowerment measurement required the researcher to remove the scale and adjust the scope of the study. A simple linear regression determined that resilience predicted wellness with statistical significance F(1, 247) = 726.012, R2 = .745, p = .000, f2 = 2.92. Descriptive statistics revealed that there were no significant differences in overall wellness when comparing BMSM+ ((N = 249) to norming samples representative of the U.S. population, t(248) = 1.575, p = .12 and African-Americans, t(248) = -1.444, p = .150; though BMSM+ had higher overall wellness when compared to men, t(248) = 9.926, p = .000. Most of the BMSM+ in this study had a resilience score that was somewhat low to very low (M = 123. 39), which was significantly lower than norming samples of the U.S. population, t(248) = -8.345, p = .000 and men, p = .000; males: t(248) = -7.938, p = .000. Additionally, the researcher ran two post hoc analyses that used multi-factor ANOVAs that revealed significant differences in resilience and wellness between groups when examining participants' HIV viral load detectability, CD4 count, mode of HIV contraction, level of religiosity/spirituality, education, and relationship status. Overall, the findings of the current study challenge the assumption that BMSM+ are unwell and has implications for counseling practitioners, counselor educators, researchers, and community-based organizations.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Education; Counselor Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Heard, Nevin, "Countering the Narrative: Exploring the Relationships among Wellness, Resilience, and Empowerment within Black Men Who Have Sex With Men Living With HIV (BMSM+)" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5972.