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APA Journal of Counseling Psychology

Examining moderators of discrimination and subjective well-being among LGB individuals.Open in a New Window

Research has found perceived discrimination to be a risk factor for mental health concerns among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people, but less clarity exists linking perceived discrimination with well-being outcomes. Building from Meyer’s (2003) minority stress model, the present study examined the links between perceived discrimination and the 3 components of subjective well-being: positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction. Self-esteem and stigma consciousness were explored as empirically and theoretically implied moderators. In a sample of 368 LGB people, structural equation modeling results suggested that discrimination was not significantly associated with positive affect or life satisfaction but had a significant positive relation with negative affect. Self-esteem moderated the associations between discrimination and positive and negative affect, and stigma consciousness moderated the link with negative affect. Practical implications and directions for future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Trans individuals’ facilitative coping: An analysis of internal and external processes.Open in a New Window

Existing research on trans individuals has primarily focused on their negative experiences and has disproportionately examined coming-out processes and identity development stages. Using a grounded theory approach, this qualitative study sought to examine facilitative coping processes among trans-identified individuals. Facilitative coping was operationalized as processes whereby individuals seek social support, learn new skills, change behaviors to positively adapt, and find alternative means to seek personal growth and acceptance. The sample included 15 participants who self-identified with a gender identity that was different from their assigned sex at birth. Results yielded a total of nine overarching themes: Accepting Support from Others, Actions to Increase Protection, Active Engagement Throughout the Transition Process, Actively Seeking Social Interactions, Engaging in Exploration, Internal Processes Leading to Self-Acceptance, Self-Efficacy, Shifts Leading to Embracing Change and Flexibility, and Utilization of Agency. Based on the analysis, a theoretical model emerged that highlighted the importance of internal and external coping processes in facilitating gender identity development and navigating stressors among trans individuals. Clinical implications focusing on how to implement facilitative coping processes are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Imagining the future: Perspectives among youth and caregivers in the trans youth family study.Open in a New Window

Future perspectives of transgender youth and their caregivers may be shaped by knowledge of discrimination and adverse mental health among transgender adults. Qualitative data from the Trans Youth Family Study were analyzed to examine how transgender and gender nonconforming (TGN) youth and their caregivers imagine the youth’s future. A community-based sample of 16 families (16 TGN youth, ages 7–18 years, and 29 caregivers) was recruited from 2 regions in the United States. Participants completed in-person qualitative interviews and surveys. Interview transcripts were analyzed using grounded theory methodology for coding procedures. Analyses yielded 104 higher order themes across 45 interviews, with 8 prominent themes: comparing experiences with others, gender affirming hormones, gender affirming surgery, gender norms, questioning whether the youth is really transgender, expectations for romantic relationships, uncertainty about the future, and worries about physical and emotional safety. A conceptual model of future perspectives in TGN youth and caregivers is presented and clinical implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Victimization and depressive symptomology in transgender adults: The mediating role of avoidant coping.Open in a New Window

Victimization and depressive distress symptoms represent serious and interconnected public health problems facing transgender communities. Avoidant coping is hypothesized to temporarily alleviate the stress of victimization, but has potential long-term mental and behavioral health costs, such as increasing the probability of depressive symptoms. A community sample of 412 transgender adults (M age = 32.7, SD = 12.8) completed a one-time survey capturing multiple forms of victimization (i.e., everyday discrimination, bullying, physical assault by family, verbal harassment by family, childhood sexual abuse, intimate partner violence), avoidant coping, and past-week depressive symptomology. Structural equation modeling examined the mediating role of avoidant coping in the association between victimization and depressive symptomology. A latent victimization variable comprised of 6 measures of victimization was positively associated with avoidant coping, which in turn was positively associated with depressive symptoms. Victimization was also positively associated with depressive symptomology both directly and indirectly through avoidant coping. Avoidant coping represents a potentially useful intervention target for clinicians aiming to reduce the mental health sequelae of victimization in this highly stigmatized and vulnerable population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Development and evaluation of the Internalized Racism in Asian Americans Scale (IRAAS).Open in a New Window

This article presents the development and psychometric evaluation of the Internalized Racism in Asian Americans Scale (IRAAS), which was designed to measure the degree to which Asian Americans internalized hostile attitudes and negative messages targeted toward their racial identity. Items were developed on basis of prior literature, vetted through expert feedback and cognitive interviews, and administered to 655 Asian American participants through Amazon Mechanical Turk. Exploratory factor analysis with a random subsample (n = 324) yielded a psychometrically robust preliminary measurement model consisting of 3 factors: Self-Negativity, Weakness Stereotypes, and Appearance Bias. Confirmatory factor analysis with a separate subsample (n = 331) indicated that the proposed correlated factors model was strongly consistent with the observed data. Factor determinacies were high and demonstrated that the specified items adequately measured their intended factors. Bifactor modeling further indicated that this multidimensionality could be univocally represented for the purpose of measurement, including the use of a mean total score representing a single continuum of internalized racism on which individuals vary. The IRAAS statistically predicted depressive symptoms, and demonstrated statistically significant correlations in theoretically expected directions with four dimensions of collective self-esteem. These results provide initial validity evidence supporting the use of the IRAAS to measure aspects of internalized racism in this population. Limitations and research implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

 

East Asian adolescents’ ethnic identity development and cultural integration: A qualitative investigation.Open in a New Window

Drawing on the current conceptualization of acculturation/enculturation as bilinear, multidimensional processes proceeding in interaction with surrounding contexts, this study examined ethnic identity development and cultural integration of 13 adolescents from East Asian immigrant families. Five domains emerged via the Consensual Qualitative Research method: ethnic/cultural identity and socialization; bicultural living; racial context–racism and stereotypes; family context–parental expectation; and peer context–friendship/dating. Overall, the participants experienced a cultural split and discontinuity between the 2 worlds of home and ethnic community versus school and society in general. They received strong ethnic socialization messages from family and ethnic community. Although most participants experienced hurtful racial discrimination, they used passive coping (e.g., dismiss, minimize, defend perpetrators). The model minority stereotype was prevalent and deeply engrained in many aspects of their lives including ethnic identity development, cultural socialization messages from mainstream society, discrimination experiences, and academic/occupational demands imposed by self, parents, peers, and society. Although they appreciated parents’ high expectations of academic/occupational success, they felt pressured and desired to have space and independence. Friendship/dating patterns reflected ethnic identity development as well as contextual influence. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Meta-analyses of the relationship between conformity to masculine norms and mental health-related outcomes.Open in a New Window

Despite theoretical postulations that individuals’ conformity to masculine norms is differentially related to mental health-related outcomes depending on a variety of contexts, there has not been any systematic synthesis of the empirical research on this topic. Therefore, the authors of this study conducted meta-analyses of the relationships between conformity to masculine norms (as measured by the Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory-94 and other versions of this scale) and mental health-related outcomes using 78 samples and 19,453 participants. Conformity to masculine norms was modestly and unfavorably associated with mental health as well as moderately and unfavorably related to psychological help seeking. The authors also identified several moderation effects. Conformity to masculine norms was more strongly correlated with negative social functioning than with psychological indicators of negative mental health. Conformity to the specific masculine norms of self-reliance, power over women, and playboy were unfavorably, robustly, and consistently related to mental health-related outcomes, whereas conformity to the masculine norm of primacy of work was not significantly related to any mental health-related outcome. These findings highlight the need for researchers to disaggregate the generic construct of conformity to masculine norms and to focus instead on specific dimensions of masculine norms and their differential associations with other outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Masculinity and barriers to seeking counseling: The buffering role of self-compassion.Open in a New Window

Less than 1/3 of college men seek psychological help per year when experiencing mental health concerns. Many believe this is because socialized masculine norms are incongruent with help-seeking decisions. In line with this, adherence to masculine norms, like emotional control and self-reliance, is consistently linked to factors associated with lower use of counseling. Identifying constructs that buffer, or reduce, the relationship between masculine norm adherence and common barriers to seeking help, like help-seeking self-stigma and resistance to self-disclosing, could shed light on mechanisms through which effective interventions could be developed. As such, this study examined whether self-compassion, or the ability to show oneself kindness and understanding in the face of challenges, moderated the relationship between masculine norm adherence and both help-seeking self-stigma and the risks associated with self-disclosing to a counselor in a sample of 284 undergraduate men (Mage = 19.68, range = 18–30). Results indicate that self-compassion is associated with lower levels of help-seeking self-stigma and disclosure risks. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, self-compassion buffered the relationship between overall masculine norm adherence and each of these barriers. Furthermore, when specific masculine norms were examined, self-compassion buffered the relationship between emotional control and disclosure risks. These results support the need for future research focused on the development and assessment of self-compassion based interventions aimed at decreasing the barriers undergraduate men experience toward seeking psychological help. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Experiencing racial microaggressions influences suicide ideation through perceived burdensomeness in African Americans.Open in a New Window

Racial microaggressions are a contemporary form of subtle discrimination that occur in everyday exchanges, and are associated with a variety of negative mental health outcomes, including suicide ideation. Previous work (e.g., Torres-Harding, Andrade, & Romero Diaz, 2012) has identified 6 dimensions of racial microaggressions: invisibility, criminality, low-achieving/undesirable culture, sexualization, foreigner/not belonging, and environmental invalidations. The current study examined whether the 6 dimensions of racial microaggressions were associated with increased suicide ideation through perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness among 135 African American young adults. Results indicated that perceived burdensomeness, but not thwarted belongingness, mediated the relationship between 3 racial microaggression dimensions (i.e., invisibility, low-achievement/undesirable culture, and environmental invalidations) and suicide ideation. These results imply that for African American college students, experiencing certain dimensions of racial microaggressions was associated with higher levels of perceived burdensomeness, which in turn was related to increased levels of suicide ideation. Clinical and societal implications are discussed. This study found that specific types of racial microaggressions were associated with higher levels of perceptions of being a burden on others, which in turn was associated with higher levels of suicide ideation in a sample of African Americans. These findings are important as they demonstrate 1 possible avenue through which racial microaggressions can negatively impact mental health. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Sexual minority college students’ perceptions on dating violence and sexual assault.Open in a New Window

While the majority of research on dating violence (DV) and sexual assault (SA) in college students has focused on heterosexual students, victimization rates among sexual minority students are the same or higher than that of their heterosexual counterparts. The current study sought to explore sexual minority college students’ perceptions of the prevalence of DV and SA, risk and protective factors, and barriers to seeking help, using focus groups. A total of 14 sexual minority students ranging in age from 18 to 24 participated across 2 focus groups. Findings suggest the majority of the students perceived DV and SA among sexual minority individuals to be less common compared to their heterosexual counterparts and to be less common on their campus compared to other colleges and universities. Students’ reflections about risk and protective factors overlapped with those previously established among heterosexuals as well as factors unique to the sexual minority community. Students identified societal, community, and psychological-level barriers related to help-seeking. We provide recommendations for practice based on the current findings (e.g., colleges could expand current educational material about DV and SA to include more recognition of these issues for sexual minority students). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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