Understanding the connection between minority stress and identity development in self-identified and questioning lesbians
Peterson, Trica Luanne
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Using a minority stress framework, this study examined the relationship between internalized homophobia, perceived discrimination, concealment, experience of prejudice events and identity development in lesbians. The purpose of the study was to: create a foundation for future research concerning the applicability of the Minority Stress Model (Meyer, 2003) to the experiences of lesbian women; provide further reliability and validity information for a newly constructed scale developed specifically for use with lesbian populations to measure internalized homophobia (Lesbian Internalized Homophobia Scale); address the current lack of research and model building being conducted with lesbian samples; incorporate various sampling methods, in an effort to get participants from the early stages of lesbian identity development and those concealing that identity; and provide clinicians with useful knowledge when attempting to assist lesbian clients in the identity development process. A national survey of lesbians and women currently questioning if they might be a lesbian was conducted. Responses were submitted via the internet or by mail. Data was analyzed using a multiple regression and a multivariate analysis of variance. Cronbach alpha reliabilities were also calculated for each measure. Clinical and research implications of the current results are discussed.