Positive States of Mind, Loneliness, and Anger: An Exploration of Resilience in the LGBT Community Side: 1 of 2
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Positive States of Mind, Loneliness, and Anger*
An Exploration of Resilience in the LGBT Community
Mandy Alene Logan. Denise Catalano. Mark Vosvick. & Chwee-Lye Ch
University of North Texas
Positive states of
mind will be
Loneliness will be
Anger will be
Fees et al., (1999) looked at the reciprocal interactions of loneliness and
negative health symptoms in non-LGBT populations, and concluded that
loneliness was a mediator of resilience and may have negative effects on
Individuals who consistently exhibit resilient behavior are more capable of
handling negative emotions when confronted with anger-provoking events;
negative emotions such as anger are unlikely to contribute to resilience in
LGBT individuals (Ong, 2006).
This study examined the association between positive states of mind,
loneliness, anger, and resilience in LGBT individuals. We wanted to explore
three likely factors associated with the constant pressures and prejudices
experienced by LGBT individuals and perhaps identify specific cognitive
mechanisms used by highly resilient individuals.
As hypothesized, a positive state of mind was significantly positively
associated with resilience in our analyses. Loneliness was significantly
negatively associated with resilience. However, trait anger was not a
significant predictor of resilience in our model.
We found a strong relationship between a positive state of mind and
resilience in our model. This relationship may be due to possible shared
coping strategies. Previous research suggests that optimists tend to use
more adaptive coping strategies (i.e. problem-focused, active planning,
information seeking) than pessimists (Chang, 1998). Additionally, Block and
Block (1980) found that resilient individuals cope via adaptive flexibility, or
the ability to engage in various cognitive and emotional processes under
different stress conditions.
The negative relationship between loneliness and resilience found in our
study, suggests that loneliness might be a significant impediment in the
development of resilience. Loneliness is not the same as having low social
support, but rather, is the same as having low perceived social support
(Peplau & Perlman, 1982). Previous research states that the perception of
social support maximizes the probability that an individual will utilize
problem-solving techniques to resolve conflict and demonstrate resilience
(Licitra-Kleckler & Waas, 1993).
Positive psychology is the study of conditions and processes that
contribute to the optimal functioning of people, groups, and institutions
(Gable & Haidt, 2005). Community psychologists who assist the public in
seeking fulfillment in life should focus on treatment goals of identifying and
enhancing strengths, such as resilience. Thus, combining positive
psychological concepts with evidence-based treatments may allow
community psychologists to offer treatments that build strengths and
increase long-term quality of life in the LGBT population.
By recognizing the significant roles of positive states of mind and
loneliness in predicting resilience, we may gain a more complete
understanding of how behaviors and beliefs can increase resilience in
populations facing significant adversity, as in the LGBT population.
Counselors must work to reinforce resilience by encouraging positive states
of mind and seeking to decrease the perception of loneliness.
The correlational design of our study and reliance on self-report for the
measurement of both dependent and independent study variables prevents
us from inferring causality from our results.
However, the implications of this study remain important to counseling
psychologists in order to improve the quality of life in LGBT individuals
who are faced with adversity.
Additional studies are needed to identify other factors associated with
resilience that can be clinically manipulated to increase resilience in LGBT
• Positive states of mind, loneliness, and anger will account
for a significant amount of variance in resilience.
* Actual and possible range were the same
Grotberg’s (1995) theory of resilience defines resilience as “the process of,
capacity for, or outcome of successful adaptation despite challenging or
This definition acknowledges that there are behaviors and characteristics
(i.e. positive states of mind, loneliness, and anger), which will help an
individual adapt or change according to circumstances (i.e. adversity
experienced by LGBT individuals). Such behaviors may either impede or
promote the development of resilience.
State and Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI)
Trait Anger Subscale (Spielberger, 1988; cf.83)
■ Spielberger (1988) defines anger as “the predisposition to find a wide range of
situations as being annoying and to experience state anger on a frequent basis.”
■ The subscale consists of 10 items scored on a 4 point likert-type scale, with higher
scores indicating higher levels of trait anger.
■ Convergent validity was found as well as good test-retest reliability (Reyes et al., 2003).
■ Sample Item: “/ am a hotheaded person.”
Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC)
(Connor & Davidson, 2003; a=.89)
■ This scale measures one’s ability to cope with adversity.
■ The scale consists of 25 items scored on a 5 point likert-type scale with higher scores
reflecting greater resilience.
■ Convergent validity was found as well as good test-retest reliability (Ahern et al., 2006).
■ Sample Item: “ Coping with stress can strengthen me."
5. Trait Anger
UN VAR ATE STAT ST CS
INTRODUCTION I - METHOD __
Resilience generally refers to a class of phenomena characterized by
patterns of positive adaptation, or the ability to “bounce back” in the One hundred eighty-nine participants were recruited at various LGBT events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area such as Dallas Gay Pride 2008, and by placing flyers around the UNT
context of significant adversity or risk (Masten & Reed, 2005). campus and in Dallas. We administered a battery of self-report measures regarding participants’ demographic, medical and psychological information. The University of North Texas’
institutional review board (IRB) approved this study. Participants received monetary incentive for their time.
Although there has been marked improvement in society’s attitudes toward | J O RAP! |=1 89 ; _
the Igbt (state) community in the past two decades, individuals continue to ethnicity income sexual orientation age biological sex
experience Considerable discrimination and hostility (Herek, 2007). | European-American I 66.7% <$25,000 | 47.4% Gay I 26.5% Mean I 34.7 years Male I 51.9%
| African-American 11.6% $25,001-$50,000 23.1% Lesbian 25.9% Standard Deviation 14.2 years___
A positive state of mind is associated with an inclination to expect favorable | Latino/a 10.6% $50,001-$75,000 | 15.3% | Bisexual | 28.o% Range 18-76 years___
life outcomes (Hjelle et al., 1996) and has the potential to be conducive to Asian-American__2.1% ~ >$75,001 14.2% Transgendered 19.6%_____
resiliency (Tugade & Fredrickson, 2004). other | 9.0% I l I l l I l l
Adj. R squared = .31, F(6,182) = 17.81, p<.001
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Logan, Mandy Alene; Catalano, Denise E.; Vosvick, Mark A. & Chng, Chwee-Lye. Positive States of Mind, Loneliness, and Anger: An Exploration of Resilience in the LGBT Community, poster, August 12, 2010; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855993/m1/1/: accessed November 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Center for Psychosocial Health Research.