As loneliness and social isolation become increasingly pervasive, Dr. Shayna Skakoon-Sparling is focussing on how they affect gay, bisexual and queer men (GBQM).

A postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Trevor Hart’s HIV Prevention Lab, Dr. Skakoon-Sparling has received a $99,800 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant to examine the modern context of online and in-person sources of social support, and potential causal links with loneliness and well-being among sexual minority men. She has also received a $67,000 SSHRC Insight Development Grant to explore two training programs to develop loneliness coping skills for GBQM.

“This is an important population to focus on because, cross-culturally, men tend to report more loneliness and sexual minorities are also marginalized because of the stigma and prejudice they can experience from their family and peers,” said Dr. Skakoon-Sparling. “This makes sexual minority men doubly vulnerable to experiencing loneliness and feelings of social isolation.”

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