Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The sexist mess: Development and initial validation of the sexist microaggressions experiences and stress scale and the relationship of sexist microaggressions to women's mental health
by Derthick, Annie O., Ph.D., University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015, 157; 3740179
Abstract (Summary)

This is a quantitative, cross-sectional study designed to examine the relationship between sexist microaggressions and mental health. Sexist microaggressions refer to subtle communications of hostility and discrimination toward women. Sexist microaggressions are often difficult to detect, but they have the potential for harmful mental health outcomes. Despite a strong theoretical argument for the relationship between sexist microaggressions and mental health, limited empirical research exists documenting this relationship, partly due to a lack of an adequate psychometrically developed, quantitative measure of sexist microaggressions. Therefore, for the purpose of the study, a theoretically based quantitative measure of sexist microaggressions, including a stress appraisal of these experiences, was developed. Based on survey data obtained from 699 women, the Sexist Microaggressions Experiences and Stress Scale (the Sexist MESS) may be conceptualized as composed of seven interrelated factors. Furthermore, the results support the reliability and validity of the Sexist MESS as a measure of sexist microaggressions among women. Even further, scores on the Sexist MESS correlated significantly with scores on the Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionaire-Dutch-30 (MASQ-D30), indicating a positive relationship between sexist microaggressions and general distress, anhedonic depression, and anxious arousal. Additionally, hierarchical multiple regression analysis determined that sexist microaggressions account for a unique portion of variance in mental health outcomes, above and beyond other known predictors (e.g., self-esteem, perceived social support, feminist identity development) of women’s mental health, suggesting that sexist microaggressions are an important factor to consider in the conceptualization and treatment of women’s mental health. Other service implications and recommendations for future research are discussed throughout.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: David, E.J. R.
Commitee: Eldridge, Gloria D., Rivkin, Inna D., Swift, Joshua K.
School: University of Alaska Anchorage
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Alaska
Source: DAI-B 77/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Clinical psychology, Gender studies
Keywords: Measure development, Microaggressions, Sexism, Sexist microaggressions, Women, Women's mental health
Publication Number: 3740179
ISBN: 9781339322056
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