Sociodemographic characteristics revealed that, among the recruited subjects, there were no differences by gender. Half of the sample was from the center of Italy (52%), 30% were from the South, and 18% of subjects were from Northern Italy. Moreover, most subjects were in a relationship (72%), declared themselves as Catholic (65%), and had a secondary or a university degree education. Finally, the mean score of the HS was 22.54 ± 15.71 (Table 1).
The analysis of internal consistency showed an overall Cronbach\’s α coefficient was of 0.92. In the three subscales, the Cronbach\’s α coefficient was 0.90 in behavior/negative affect, 0.94 in affect/behavioral aggression, and 0.92 in negative cognition, whereas in the total score was 0.86. (Table 2).
For the test–retest reliability, we assessed 71 of the initial 100 subjects and analysed the Pearson coefficient related to the total score and the three subscales. In this γ-Secretase inhibitor IX regard, 29 subjects did not participate to the follow‐up analysis, for personal impediments to compile a second time the questionnaire. Our test–retest analysis had two administrations, one at the baseline and one after 15 days. We found a significant and positive correlation in the four domains of the HS after the test–retest analysis. In particular, the HS total score was r = 0.93 (P < 0.0001), the behavior/negative affect was r = 0.79 (P < 0.0001), the affect/behavioral aggression was r = 0.81 (P < 0.0001), and the negative cognition was r = 0.75 (P < 0.0001) (Table 3). Moreover, as shown in Table 4, we can see the positive correlation among the HS domains. Each of the domains positively correlate with another domain of the HS, for example, the behavior/negative affect has a positive correlation with affect/behavioral aggression (r = 0.65; P < 0.0001), with negative cognition (r = 0.76; P < 0.0001), and with the total score of the HS (r = 0.93; P < 0.0001). In addition, affect/behavioral aggression correlates positively with negative cognition (r = 0.59; P < 0.0001) and with the total score of the HS (r = 0.84; P < 0.0001), and negative cognition has a positive association with the total score of the HS (r = 0.86; P < 0.0001). In the Appendix S1, the usefulness of the Italian version of HS and its scoring as a psychometric tool is shown.
In particular, the internal consistency assessed with Cronbach\’s α revealed high values for the overall coefficient and also in the four subscales. Moreover, about 70% of the variance has been explained, such as in the original version of HS. . Moreover, the test–retest reliability demonstrated another good characteristic regarding the validity of this test, such as the correlation coefficients among the scales. All these psychometric elements contribute to, and should incentivise the use of, the HS in Italy . According to recent data , homophobic behaviors are more present in the Italian population when compared with other countries in Europe, and episodes of violence or denigration toward homosexual people are more frequent.
Many associations for homosexual rights promote a culture of respect and equality, also from a judicial point of view, and prevention programs toward violence, discrimination, and homophobic bullying were developed in many public institutions, above all, in schools .
However, adequate tools for the assessment of homophobia are few, and the only psychometric instrument actually validated in the Italian language is the MHS, which assesses three domains: deviance, personal discomfort, and institutional homophobia .
This validation of the HS in Italian is very useful and adds to the MHS in the measurement and scientific knowledge of homophobia. In fact, the assessment of such specific domains as behavior/negative affect, affect/behavior aggression, and negative cognition could help researchers and clinics to better elucidate this phenomenon in a subject or in an entire study population. The domains of the HS are focused on specific feelings, on the emotional arousal and behaviors linked to homosexuality and to homosexual people .