Honors Program

Honors in Psychology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Stacey Williams

Thesis Professor Department



Individuals with stigmatized identities have been shown to have more negative health outcomes and shorter life expectancy than individuals who don’t carry a stigmatized label. One factor that acts as a buffer to protect stigmatized individuals against negative outcomes is support. However, how an individual seeks support can have an impact on whether they receive it. This study attempted to discover if the anticipation of either acceptance or rejection affected the type of support-seeking present in letters written by college students with either concealable or visible stigmatized identities. Results indicated stigmatized individuals displayed significantly more indirect support seeking in their letters when they were in the rejection condition compared to those in the acceptance condition. No significant condition or stigma type differences were found when examining seeking behaviors with a quantitative survey. However, a posthoc analysis revealed a significant interaction between stigma type and condition for indirect support-seeking. Those with a visible stigma reported more indirect seeking in the acceptance condition.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.