Discrimination and Perceived Stress in Sexual and Gender Minorities: Self-esteem As a Moderating Factor

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Sexual and gender minorities are subjected to discrimination and stigmatization which increase vulnerability to psychological co-morbidities (Mays & Cochran, 2001). The mechanisms through which discrimination contributes to distress in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) communities can be partially elucidated through the minority stress model. The minority stress model argues that minorities are subjected to negative societal attitudes and discrimination that results in excessive psychosocial stress related to their minority position, which is distinct from daily stress. Meyer’s minority stress model is supported by social stress theoriesand data linking discrimination to stress in lgb samples. Researchers suggest that self-esteem buffers … continued below

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v, 64 pages : illustrations

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Wike, Alexandra Elizabeth August 2014.

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  • Wike, Alexandra Elizabeth

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Sexual and gender minorities are subjected to discrimination and stigmatization which increase vulnerability to psychological co-morbidities (Mays & Cochran, 2001). The mechanisms through which discrimination contributes to distress in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) communities can be partially elucidated through the minority stress model. The minority stress model argues that minorities are subjected to negative societal attitudes and discrimination that results in excessive psychosocial stress related to their minority position, which is distinct from daily stress. Meyer’s minority stress model is supported by social stress theoriesand data linking discrimination to stress in lgb samples. Researchers suggest that self-esteem buffers the negative effects of adverse experiences but tests of the moderating effect of self-esteem on the discrimination-distress relationship in ethnic and gender minorities yielded mixed results. Szymanski found that self-esteem moderates the relationship between discrimination and psychological distress in a male sexual minority sample, but this has never been tested in a gender-balanced sexual minority sample. We hypothesized that higher levels of self-esteem are associated with lower overall perceived stress in lgbt adults, and that self-esteem acts differentially in lgbt populations to moderate perceived discrimination. We found that discrimination, self-esteem and the interaction effect between discrimination and self-esteem accounted for 53 percent of the total variance in perceived stress scores, ∆R2 = .38; adj. R2 = .53, F(12, 133) = 14.47, p < .001.When we tested whether self-esteem moderated the relationship between discrimination and stress, discrimination was positively related to stress, β = .13, t(144) = 2.14, p < .05, and self-esteem was negatively related to stress, β = -.63, t(144) = -10.26, p < .001. The interaction between self-esteem and discrimination positively correlated with stress, β = .14, t(144) = 2.29, p < .05. Our findings suggest that self-esteem may alleviate the impact of discrimination on perceived stress, which has important implications for interventions designed to reduce stress in lgbt communities.

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v, 64 pages : illustrations

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  • August 2014

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  • Aug. 21, 2015, 5:42 a.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 2:19 p.m.

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Wike, Alexandra Elizabeth. Discrimination and Perceived Stress in Sexual and Gender Minorities: Self-esteem As a Moderating Factor, thesis, August 2014; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699842/: accessed April 13, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .