Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

Psychology

Date of Award

5-2012

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Stacey L. Williams

Committee Members

Ginette C. Blackhart, Christopher S. Dula

Abstract

The present study examined stress symptoms in relation to self-identified sexual orientation and identity-related constructs among gays and lesbians. Multiple identity constructs have played a significant role in determining anxiety levels in ethnic minorities but have not been examined among gays and lesbians. Secondary data analysis was conducted on a sample of participants who completed an online survey "Study of Attitudes about Sexual Orientation." Results indicated homosexuals reported higher levels of public and self-stigma and lower public regard than heterosexuals. Additionally, higher self-stigma and lower private regard about sexual orientation were related to increased stress. Finally, gays and lesbians reported lower private regard and increased self-stigma in relation to public regard and stigma. Findings highlight that public perceptions about sexual orientation impact self-views, and that self-views relate to increased stress. Interventions should aim to reduce negative public regard about homosexualityand the impact of public views on the self.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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