Identity Concealment

Concealment of one’s sexual orientation affords escape from stigma and discrimination but also creates a psychological burden. While disclosure alleviates the mental burden of concealment, it invites the stress of navigating a new public identity. Our lab utilizes data from diverse sources (e.g., daily diary methods, existing epidemiological health surveys) to explore the role of sexual orientation concealment and disclosure (i.e., being closeted vs. being out) on health outcomes, as well as the environmental determinants of stigma concealment.


Pachankis, J. E., Cochran, S. D., & Mays, V. M. (2015). The mental health of sexual minority adults in and out of the closet: A population-based study.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83, 890-901.

Pachankis, J. E., Hatzenbuehler, M. L., Hickson, F., Weatherburn, P., Berg, R., Marcus, U., & Schmidt, A. J. (2015). Hidden from health: Structural stigma, sexual orientation concealment, and HIV across 38 countries in the European MSM Internet Survey (EMIS). AIDS, 29, 1239-1246.

Pachankis, J. E., Hatzenbuehler, M. L., Mirandola M., Weatherburn, P., Berg, R., Marcus, U., & Schmidt, A. J. (in press). The geography of sexual orientation: Structural stigma and sexual identity, behavior, and attraction among men who have sex with men across 38 countries.; Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Pachankis, J.E., & Bernstein, L. (2012). An etiological model of anxiety in young gay men: From early stress to public self-consciousness. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 13, 107-122.

Pachankis, J.E. (2007). The psychological implications of concealing a stigma: A cognitive-affective-behavioral model. Psychological Bulletin, 133, 328-345.