Recent Incarceration and Other Correlates of Psychological Distress Among African American and Latino Men Who Have Sex with Men

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Community Mental Health Journal

Publication Date


Date Added



There is a dearth of research on the intersection of incarceration and psychological distress among men who have sex with men including African American (AAMSM) and Latino MSM (LMSM), populations which bear a large burden of HIV in the U.S. Recent incarceration is an important context to examine psychological distress given the critical implications it has on health outcomes. Using baseline data from the Latino and African American Men’s Project (LAAMP), a multi-site randomized HIV behavioral intervention trial, this paper examined the association between previous incarceration within the past three months (i.e., recent incarceration) and psychological distress in the past four weeks, assessed by the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10). Among 1482 AAMSM and LMSM (AAMSM: 911, LMSM: 571), we found 768 (52%) were previously incarcerated, but not in past three months and 138 (9.3%) had been recently incarcerated. After adjusting for race, education, access to resources, current living arrangement, HIV status, and substance use, participants who had been recently incarcerated were more likely to have mild psychological distress i.e., K10 score 20–24 (aRRR:1.43, 95% CI 1.20, 1.71) or severe psychological distress, i.e., K10 score > 30 (aRRR: 1.89, 95% CI 1.22, 2.93) in the past four weeks than those never incarcerated and those previously incarcerated, but not in past three months. Our findings have implications for mental health and HIV prevention services for AAMSM and LMSM with previous incarceration within the past three months.




Social Work

Comments/Extra Notes

Additional authors: Flores, Stephen; Latkin, Carl A.; Yang, Cui