Project Title

Self-Esteem as a Mediator of Internalized Stigma and Health in Sexual Minority Women

Authors' Affiliations

Nicholas A. Fasanello, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN Emily A. Clark, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN Samantha A. Stone, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN Sarah A. Job, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN Stacey L. Williams, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-5-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2018 12:00 PM

Poster Number

33

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Stacey L. Williams

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Department of Psychology

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Undergraduate Student

Project's Category

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract Text

Rural populations are traditionally understudied, especially as it is concerned with the experiences of sexual minority women and the experiences of internalized stigma (negative attitudes towards the self) are often related to poor health outcomes within the LGBTQ+ community (Meyer, 2003). This relationship has been found to be mediated by rumination, suppression, and social isolation, which has been generalized to cognitive, coping, and social mediators (Hatzenbuehler, Nolen-Hoeksema, & Dovidio 2009). The current study examines the indirect effect of internalized stigma on self-rated health and quality of life through cognitive mediators (self-esteem, self-compassion, and feelings of guilt and shame) in sexual minority women located in northeast Tennessee (N=134). Participants completed the following scales: Perceived Self Stigma Scale (Mickelson, 2001), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965), Self-Compassion Scale- Short Form (Raes, Pommier, Neff, & Van Gucht, 2011), Personal Feelings Questionnaire (Harder & Zalma, 1990), WHOQOL-BREF (World Health Organization, 1998), and the SF-36v2 (Health Survey, 1996). Results suggested that only self-esteem mediated the relationship between internalized stigma and both self-rated health and quality of life. Analyses were conducted via the data software SPSS. Internalized stigma was found to predict self-esteem (b = -0.153, p =.023). In turn, self-esteem was then predictive of self-rated health (b = .399, p =.043) and quality of life (b = 0.438, p = .007). A mediational analysis was conducted using a PROCESS (Hayes, 2014) macro to test the hypothesis that self-esteem acts as a mediator between internalized stigma and quality of life and self-rated health. There was an indirect effect of internalized stigma on quality of life (effect = -.067, 95% CI (-.157, -.016)) and self-rated health (effect = -.061, 95% CI (-.151, -.013)) through self-esteem. All other regression and mediational analyses with self-compassion, shame, and guilt were nonsignificant. With these findings, clinical therapy may be improved for sexual minority women by focusing on internalized stigma as an underlying cause of lower self-esteem and poor health. If the focus of therapy becomes internalized stigma, based on our findings, reduction of internalized stigma could increase self-esteem and in turn increase self-rated health and quality of life in sexual minority women.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 5th, 8:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

Self-Esteem as a Mediator of Internalized Stigma and Health in Sexual Minority Women

Ballroom

Rural populations are traditionally understudied, especially as it is concerned with the experiences of sexual minority women and the experiences of internalized stigma (negative attitudes towards the self) are often related to poor health outcomes within the LGBTQ+ community (Meyer, 2003). This relationship has been found to be mediated by rumination, suppression, and social isolation, which has been generalized to cognitive, coping, and social mediators (Hatzenbuehler, Nolen-Hoeksema, & Dovidio 2009). The current study examines the indirect effect of internalized stigma on self-rated health and quality of life through cognitive mediators (self-esteem, self-compassion, and feelings of guilt and shame) in sexual minority women located in northeast Tennessee (N=134). Participants completed the following scales: Perceived Self Stigma Scale (Mickelson, 2001), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965), Self-Compassion Scale- Short Form (Raes, Pommier, Neff, & Van Gucht, 2011), Personal Feelings Questionnaire (Harder & Zalma, 1990), WHOQOL-BREF (World Health Organization, 1998), and the SF-36v2 (Health Survey, 1996). Results suggested that only self-esteem mediated the relationship between internalized stigma and both self-rated health and quality of life. Analyses were conducted via the data software SPSS. Internalized stigma was found to predict self-esteem (b = -0.153, p =.023). In turn, self-esteem was then predictive of self-rated health (b = .399, p =.043) and quality of life (b = 0.438, p = .007). A mediational analysis was conducted using a PROCESS (Hayes, 2014) macro to test the hypothesis that self-esteem acts as a mediator between internalized stigma and quality of life and self-rated health. There was an indirect effect of internalized stigma on quality of life (effect = -.067, 95% CI (-.157, -.016)) and self-rated health (effect = -.061, 95% CI (-.151, -.013)) through self-esteem. All other regression and mediational analyses with self-compassion, shame, and guilt were nonsignificant. With these findings, clinical therapy may be improved for sexual minority women by focusing on internalized stigma as an underlying cause of lower self-esteem and poor health. If the focus of therapy becomes internalized stigma, based on our findings, reduction of internalized stigma could increase self-esteem and in turn increase self-rated health and quality of life in sexual minority women.