The stigma associated with being a sexual minority poses a psychological challenge for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual/transgendered, and queer (LGBTQ). This population has been found to experience more mental health concerns, higher reports of prejudice and discrimination, as well as physical and sexual violence, among other difficulties. The current study examined if the psychological distress that results as a consequence of stigma-related stress will be moderated by the individual's coping style. Data from 635 volunteer participants were examined. Variables that were assessed included voluntary engagement and disengagement coping strategies, psychological distress (specifically, depression, anxiety, and stress), internalized homonegativity/binegativity, perceived stigma, general stress, as well as demographic variables. Multiple regression models were analyzed to determine the extent to which perceived stigma predicted psychological distress, and the extent to which different coping styles moderated that relationship. The prediction that psychological distress would be positively associated with perceived stigma, internalized homonegativity/binegativity, and general stress was supported. The prediction that an overall positive relationship between perceived stigma and psychological distress would be stronger among those who relied heavily on voluntary disengagement coping and less strong among those who relied heavily on voluntary engagement coping was not supported by the data, although engagement coping was related lower levels of depression and disengagement coping was related to higher levels of distress in general. Finally, the prediction that a positive association between perceived stigma and psychological distress would hold even when controlling for general stressors was also supported. Further supplemental analyses were examined and limitations and future directions were discussed.
|Advisor:||Brown, Amy L.|
|Commitee:||Lynch, Cheryl, Perkins, Rick|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 53/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||GLBT Studies, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Coping, LGBTQ, Sexual minority, Stigma|
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