Project Title

Indirect Effects of Concealment on Health in Sexual Minority Women

Authors' Affiliations

Samantha A. Stone, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 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 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

31

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Stacey L. William

Faculty Sponsor's Department

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. Previous research has found that sexual minorities experience worse health outcomes in comparison to heterosexual individuals, which could be due to minority stress (the unique stressors they face as sexual minorities, such as discrimination and concealment of sexual orientation) (Meyer, 2003). More recent research has found that the relationship between minority stress and health outcomes has been mediated by social variables, like social isolation (Hatzenbuehler et al., 2009). Thus, the current study examined the indirect effects of proximal minority stress of concealment on self-rated health and quality of life through various social factors (community connectedness, social support, indirect support seeking, and belongingness). Participants included 134 sexual minority women in Northeast Tennessee. Participants completed the following measures: the Short Form LIHS (Szynmanski & Chung, 2001); Indirect Social Seeking Scale (Barbee & Cunningham, 1995); the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (Zimet, Dahlem, Zimet, & Farley, 1988); the Belongingness Scale (Malone et al., 2012); the Connectedness to the LGBT Community Scale (Frost & Meyer, 2012); WHOQOL-BREF (World Health Organization, 1998); SF36v2 (Health Survey, 1996). In order to test that belongingness, social support, indirect support seeking, and community connectedness mediated the relationship between concealment to quality of life and self-rated health, a mediational analysis was conducted using PROCESS (Hayes, 2014) macro. Analysis showed that concealment was indirectly linked through belongingness with quality of life and self-related health. Concealment significantly predicted belongingness (b = -.327, p = .021), which in turn significantly predicted self-rated health life (b = .214, p = .004) and quality of life (b = .251, p < .001). A mediational analysis was conducted, and it was found that concealment had an indirect effect on self-rated health through belongingness (effect = -.070, 95% CI = -.1865, -.0105) and indirect effect on quality of life through belongingness (effect = -.066, 95% CI = -.161, -.001). All other mediational analyses were nonsignificant. Our results suggest that cognitive aspects of social life, like perceived belongingness, may be an important mechanism through which minority stress affects health.

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

Indirect Effects of Concealment on Health in Sexual Minority Women

Ballroom

Rural populations are traditionally understudied, especially as it is concerned with the experiences of sexual minority women. Previous research has found that sexual minorities experience worse health outcomes in comparison to heterosexual individuals, which could be due to minority stress (the unique stressors they face as sexual minorities, such as discrimination and concealment of sexual orientation) (Meyer, 2003). More recent research has found that the relationship between minority stress and health outcomes has been mediated by social variables, like social isolation (Hatzenbuehler et al., 2009). Thus, the current study examined the indirect effects of proximal minority stress of concealment on self-rated health and quality of life through various social factors (community connectedness, social support, indirect support seeking, and belongingness). Participants included 134 sexual minority women in Northeast Tennessee. Participants completed the following measures: the Short Form LIHS (Szynmanski & Chung, 2001); Indirect Social Seeking Scale (Barbee & Cunningham, 1995); the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (Zimet, Dahlem, Zimet, & Farley, 1988); the Belongingness Scale (Malone et al., 2012); the Connectedness to the LGBT Community Scale (Frost & Meyer, 2012); WHOQOL-BREF (World Health Organization, 1998); SF36v2 (Health Survey, 1996). In order to test that belongingness, social support, indirect support seeking, and community connectedness mediated the relationship between concealment to quality of life and self-rated health, a mediational analysis was conducted using PROCESS (Hayes, 2014) macro. Analysis showed that concealment was indirectly linked through belongingness with quality of life and self-related health. Concealment significantly predicted belongingness (b = -.327, p = .021), which in turn significantly predicted self-rated health life (b = .214, p = .004) and quality of life (b = .251, p < .001). A mediational analysis was conducted, and it was found that concealment had an indirect effect on self-rated health through belongingness (effect = -.070, 95% CI = -.1865, -.0105) and indirect effect on quality of life through belongingness (effect = -.066, 95% CI = -.161, -.001). All other mediational analyses were nonsignificant. Our results suggest that cognitive aspects of social life, like perceived belongingness, may be an important mechanism through which minority stress affects health.