Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Shawn Davis, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Daniel Munoz, Ph.D.


The present study is an investigation of group differences in levels of internalized homophobia (high, moderate, and low) as measured on the Short Internalized Homonegativity Scale (SIHS) in relation to HIV-risk behaviors, substance use, and Internet use. The sample (N= 90) consisted of Internet using men who have sex with men (MSM). Results indicate that general trend of public identity discomfort across Internet use behaviors, substance use, and HIV-risk behaviors. Significant group differences were found between level of internalized homophobia on both HIV-risk behaviors and substance use. There were no group differences between level of internalized homophobia and Internet use behaviors. Results were evaluated considering the minority stress model and just world belief theory to explain group differences with Internet use, substance use, and overall HIV-risk behaviors in relations to levels of internalized homophobia. Further analysis was conducted to identify specific variables to aid in the explanation of group differences. This research will aid public health officials identify factors that contribute to HIV-risk behaviors with MSM who are the largest growing group of those newly infected with HIV.