Project Title

A Path Analysis Approach to Proximal Minority Stress and Problematic Drinking

Authors' Affiliations

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

AUDITORIUM ROOM 137A

Start Date

4-4-2018 10:00 AM

End Date

4-4-2018 10:15 AM

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Stacey L. Williams

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Psychology

Type

Oral Presentation

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Master’s

Project's Category

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract Text

Sexual minorities consistently report more alcohol use than heterosexual individuals, and sexual minority women tend to report more alcohol use than sexual minority men (Amadio, 2006; Kerr et al., 2015; Rosario et al., 2014). Some evidence suggests that this disparity in comparison to heterosexuals may be problematic drinking, such as binge drinking and alcohol dependence, rather than just higher consumption of alcohol. Thus, it is important to examine which variables are related to problematic drinking among sexual minority women.

One factor that may explain problematic drinking for sexual minority women is proximal minority stress, such as anticipated stigma (expectations of unfair treatment) and internalized stigma (negative attitudes toward the self about one’s sexual orientation) (Meyer, 2003). Previous research has found that internalized stigma predicts more problematic drinking (Feinstein & Newcomb, 2016; Lea et al., 2014). Additionally, proximal minority stress may be indirectly related to problematic drinking through variables like depression, social support, and drinking motives (Lehavot & Simoni, 2011; Lewis et al., 2016). However, findings on anticipated stigma have inconsistently shown a relationship with problematic drinking (Hatzenbuehler et al., 2008; Reisner et al., 2015).

The current study tested a path analysis model examining how proximal minority stress may be related to problematic drinking among sexual minority women. Participants included 101 women who identified as lesbian, bisexual, and other non-heterosexual orientations. Participants were mainly white, and came from all regions of the United States (Northeast, South, Midwest, West). They completed the following measures: the Internalized Stigma Subscale of the Perceived Stigma Scale (Mickelson, 2001), the Discrimination Scale (adapted from Williams, 1997), the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (Zimet et al., 1988), the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (Radloff, 1977), the Drinking Motives Questionnaire (Cooper, 1994), and the AUDIT (Saunders et al., 1993).

The final model tested anticipated stigma and internalized stigma as predictors of social support and depression; depression significantly predicted coping and enhancement motives, which in turn predicted problematic drinking. Age, living in the Northeast, and being a racial/ethnic minority were covariates of depression, internalized stigma and social support respectively. A path analysis conducted via EQS determined that the model had good fit (Chi-square/df = 1.10, p = 0.32, CFI = .988, SRMR = 0.082, RMSEA = .032 (90% CI [0.001, 0.082]). These results support the hypotheses that minority stress is related to more problematic drinking through depression and substance use motives. Findings could suggest that future research and interventions should examine the replacement of negative coping mechanisms, like drinking, with more positive coping mechanisms among sexual minority women.

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Apr 4th, 10:00 AM Apr 4th, 10:15 AM

A Path Analysis Approach to Proximal Minority Stress and Problematic Drinking

AUDITORIUM ROOM 137A

Sexual minorities consistently report more alcohol use than heterosexual individuals, and sexual minority women tend to report more alcohol use than sexual minority men (Amadio, 2006; Kerr et al., 2015; Rosario et al., 2014). Some evidence suggests that this disparity in comparison to heterosexuals may be problematic drinking, such as binge drinking and alcohol dependence, rather than just higher consumption of alcohol. Thus, it is important to examine which variables are related to problematic drinking among sexual minority women.

One factor that may explain problematic drinking for sexual minority women is proximal minority stress, such as anticipated stigma (expectations of unfair treatment) and internalized stigma (negative attitudes toward the self about one’s sexual orientation) (Meyer, 2003). Previous research has found that internalized stigma predicts more problematic drinking (Feinstein & Newcomb, 2016; Lea et al., 2014). Additionally, proximal minority stress may be indirectly related to problematic drinking through variables like depression, social support, and drinking motives (Lehavot & Simoni, 2011; Lewis et al., 2016). However, findings on anticipated stigma have inconsistently shown a relationship with problematic drinking (Hatzenbuehler et al., 2008; Reisner et al., 2015).

The current study tested a path analysis model examining how proximal minority stress may be related to problematic drinking among sexual minority women. Participants included 101 women who identified as lesbian, bisexual, and other non-heterosexual orientations. Participants were mainly white, and came from all regions of the United States (Northeast, South, Midwest, West). They completed the following measures: the Internalized Stigma Subscale of the Perceived Stigma Scale (Mickelson, 2001), the Discrimination Scale (adapted from Williams, 1997), the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (Zimet et al., 1988), the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (Radloff, 1977), the Drinking Motives Questionnaire (Cooper, 1994), and the AUDIT (Saunders et al., 1993).

The final model tested anticipated stigma and internalized stigma as predictors of social support and depression; depression significantly predicted coping and enhancement motives, which in turn predicted problematic drinking. Age, living in the Northeast, and being a racial/ethnic minority were covariates of depression, internalized stigma and social support respectively. A path analysis conducted via EQS determined that the model had good fit (Chi-square/df = 1.10, p = 0.32, CFI = .988, SRMR = 0.082, RMSEA = .032 (90% CI [0.001, 0.082]). These results support the hypotheses that minority stress is related to more problematic drinking through depression and substance use motives. Findings could suggest that future research and interventions should examine the replacement of negative coping mechanisms, like drinking, with more positive coping mechanisms among sexual minority women.