✎✎✎ Minority Stress Theory

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Minority Stress Theory



Cancer Minority Stress Theory sexual minority women. Minority Stress Theory of Consulting and Clinical Minority Stress Theory, Argument Against Torture, New York: Haworth Minority Stress Theory, pp. Our interpretation Minority Stress Theory based on theory and our Minority Stress Theory priori categorization of the three cohorts. All rights Minority Stress Theory. Therefore, we would expect Minority Stress Theory as Reflective Essay On Film Studies context shifts, so would experiences of minority Minority Stress Theory and resultant health outcomes.

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However, this should not obscure the many challenges facing LGBT community organizers to overcome intracommunity rejection across race, social class, and other attributes [ 71 ]. There are many reasons why our hypothesis was not supported, and it is beyond our scope to explore these. Our approach was to examine cohort-wide patterns of change. In that, we may have missed the impact on specific segments of the populations. For example, we do not know whether White sexual minority people fared differently than ethnic minorities or how gender impacted the patterns we studied.

This was, of course, purposeful because our theory was that the entire cohort would be affected by historical changes even if not in equal ways. Also, it is plausible that social conditions, looked at as broadly as we did, do not reveal many other influences on stress exposure and mental health outcomes. For example, even if the social environment improved overall, it may have not improved in all microenvironments. Furthermore, it is possible that even as the social environment improves, the lived experience of sexual minority people continues to be challenging [ 72 ]. For example, a gay or lesbian teenager may be more accepted now than their older cohort peers had been when they were teenagers, but they were still a minority in their high school, deprived of opportunities for developing intimate relations.

Although the larger social context may have improved in such a way that emboldens younger generations to be out, the normative developmental context of adolescence remains one in which conformity is prized. Compulsions to conform to gender and sexual norms that privilege heterosexuality may continue to characterize adolescence in the United States [ 73 ]. Future analysis could determine whether some segments of the population benefited more than others from the improved social conditions and how improved social conditions impact the lived experience of sexual minority people.

Our study was limited in several important ways that are relevant to drawing conclusions about cohort differences. First, our purpose was to provide an overview of the status of stress and health in three cohorts of sexual minority people at one point using cross-sectional data. Obviously, this one-time picture limits our ability to discuss historical differences and trajectories, but we interpret the results to suggest that they reflect the impact of historical changes in the status of sexual minority people in society. Our interpretation is based on theory and our a priori categorization of the three cohorts. Because we aimed to capture the impact of historical context, we erred by ignoring potential differences among members of any age cohort that could have affected variability in cohorts.

We assessed differences among three cohorts of sexual minority people but not differences by gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, neighborhood context, etc. This is consistent with our hypothesis about cohort differences. Regardless of variability in each cohort, we tested the hypothesis that the younger cohort, as a whole, fared better than older cohorts because members of the young cohort, across all strata, enjoyed better social conditions than members of older cohorts.

Second, like all measures, our measures of stress, coping, and health were limited in that each measure has its limitations and represents only a portion of complex constructs. For example, we assessed depressive symptoms and suicide attempts as proxies for the construct of mental health. Nonetheless, we present a variety of stress measures that include victimization and everyday discrimination, internalized minority stressors felt stigma and internalized homophobia , and generalized distress, which is associated with mental health and suicide attempts—a clear and serious outcome and significant gauge of sexual minority health.

The two measures that represent resilience assessed connection with the community and centrality of identity—two important elements of coping with minority stress. Third, cohort and the historical periods of interest and age were confounded. That is, there was no way to avoid the fact that respondents who came of age in more distant historical periods are also older than respondents who grew up in the context of recent and improved social conditions. Therefore, it is plausible that some differences that we observed resulted from developmental or age-related changes rather than the impact of the different historical social environments. For example, internalized homophobia typically is expected to decline with age, as a person comes to terms with their same-sex attraction and comes out [ 32 ].

Our finding that internalized homophobia was higher in the younger than older cohort is consistent with that theory and could reflect the younger developmental stage of the younger cohort members. That is definitely not the case. Our findings show that some younger people still struggle with self-acceptance. So, although we cannot say with certainty that there is no age effect, we certainly can say that internalized homophobia has not ended in young sexual minority people. Our study has many strengths. It is the first probability sample to provide nationally representative statistics on the specific experiences of sexual minority people using measures that were tailored to this population as compared with general population surveys that did not include sexual minority-specific measures.

It is the also the first large-scale study with a design that allows for inferences about the relationships between key health outcomes and social context among sexual minority populations. Few social issues have shifted as dramatically during a half-century as cultural attitudes and social policies affecting sexual minorities. In the span of 50 years since the Stonewall uprising, homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness and eventually decriminalized. The community endured a large-scale public health epidemic and successfully advocated for rights and recognition, including the right to marry and most recently, protection against employment discrimination. Given the marked changes in the social and political contexts in the United States and elsewhere, it is difficult to imagine a uniform experience of development for sexual minorities.

Rather, we would expect to find variability across cohorts in critical aspects of development. The evidence of changes in identity development processes, including opportunities for self-labeling and the timing of milestones, is clear [ 73 — 77 ]. But analysis of stress exposure and mental health suggests little distinction in the experience of minority stress across cohorts, indicating no discernable improvement in minority stress and health of sexual minorities. These findings indicate the extent to which changes in the social environment have been limited in their impact on stress processes and mental health for sexual minority people. They speak to the endurance of cultural ideologies such as homophobia and heterosexism accompanying rejection of and violence toward sexual minorities.

They call our attention to the continued need to recognize threats to the health and well-being of sexual minority people across all ages and remind us that LGBT equality remains elusive [ 78 ]. Browse Subject Areas? Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. Abstract During the past 50 years, there have been marked improvement in the social and legal environment of sexual minorities in the United States. Competing interests: No author have competing interests. Introduction For decades, researchers have demonstrated that sexual minority people experience disparities in multiple indicators of mental health and physical health when compared to nonsexual minority populations [ 1 ]. Shifting social environment for sexual minority people One of the most consistently used measures related to attitudes toward sexual minorities is a question in the General Social Survey that has been asked since the s.

Has minority stress changed in the past few decades? Distinct cohorts of sexual minority people related to changes in the social environment To address this question and test the impact of the changing social environment on the lives of sexual minority people, we conceptualized three distinct cohorts of sexual minority people that correspond to significant social changes in the U. Download: PPT. Table 1. Historical context for the definition of three cohorts of sexual minorities in the United States. Materials and methods Sample Data were collected as part of the Generations study, a 5-year study designed to examine health and well-being across three cohorts of sexual minority people.

Measures Sexual identity. Gender identity. Coming out milestones. Minority stressors. Mental health indicators. Identity and LGBT community affiliation. Statistical analyses We used descriptive statistics to describe demographic characteristics of the sample Table 2. Table 2. Table 3. Results In Table 2 , we show demographic characteristics of the total sample and the three cohorts. Coming out milestones Fig 1 shows ages at milestones related to same-gender attraction, behavior, identity, and disclosure by cohort. Fig 1. Minority stressors In Table 3 , we show differences and similarities among cohorts in exposure to minority stressors, community affiliation, and mental health indicators.

Identity centrality and affiliation with the LGBT community We assessed similarities and differences among the three cohorts in centrality of minority sexual identity and connection with LGBT community. Psychological distress and suicide When it comes to psychological distress, members of the younger cohort reported higher levels of distress than both the middle and older cohorts, and the middle cohort reported a higher level of distress than the older cohort. Discussion We started this project with the hypothesis that younger cohorts of sexual minority people would fare better than their older peers, who grew up in a more hostile social and legal environment than that of the younger cohorts.

Study limitations Our study was limited in several important ways that are relevant to drawing conclusions about cohort differences. Conclusion Our study has many strengths. Supporting information. S1 File. References 1. Institute of Medicine. The health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people: Building a foundation for better understanding. Meyer IH. Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychol Bull. Stigma as a fundamental cause of population health inequalities. Am J Public Health. A conceptual framework for clinical work with transgender and gender nonconforming clients: An adaptation of the minority stress model.

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Health disparities by sexual orientation: Results and implications from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. J Community Health. Sexual and gender minority cigarette smoking disparities: An analysis of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data. It was not due to a hypothetical new hormone, as every injected noxious agent produced the same findings. He continued his experiments by placing the rats in various stressful situations, such as on the cold roof of the medical building, or the familiar revolving treadmill that required continuous running for the animals to stay upright. The findings in each experiment were the same: adrenal hyperactivity, lymphatic atrophy and peptic ulcers. The syndrome divides the total response from stress into three phases: the alarm reaction, the stage of resistance and the stage of exhaustion.

When individuals are exposed to a stressor, they are at first taken off guard, then attempt to maintain homeostasis by resisting the change, and eventually fall victim to exhaustion in countering the stressor. Stress is a choreographed state of events, not a mere psychological term, and is encountered by all individuals during a period of illness. It differs fundamentally from the fight-or-flight or acute stress response that occurs when facing a perceived threat, as first described by physiologist Walter Cannon in The acute release of neurotransmitters from the sympathetic and central nervous systems, as well as hormones from the adrenal cortex and medulla, pituitary and other endocrine glands, mediate the response in acute stress.

Work was never work for Selye; in this regard, he has been compared to Thomas Edison, who saw work not as labour but as leisure. Selye actually transformed his home, a brick house built across the McGill University campus, into the International Institute of Stress, where he planned some of his experiments. He was married three times and had one daughter from his first marriage and four children from his second. He purportedly stayed in his second marriage for 28 years because he wanted to provide a good home for his children until they were independent. His third and final marriage was to Louise, his laboratory assistant of 19 years and someone whom he felt had always understood his goals. In his memoirs, Selye compared himself to a racehorse with Louise riding on his back, racing together toward the finishing line.

An innovative and creative scientist with a rich and invigorating personality, he considered himself a practitioner of experimental, not clinical, medicine. He even delved into the association between stress and cancer, using his own personal experience after a histiocytic reticulosarcoma formed under his skin, for which he had to undergo surgery and radioactive cobalt therapy. He was a nominee for the Nobel Prize in , won many accolades, and published his best-known book, The Stress of Life , in A professor and director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery at the University of Montreal, he at one point directed 40 laboratory assistants and worked with 15, laboratory animals. Selye died on 16 October , in Montreal at the age of Sadly, a scandal emerged after his death: he was said to have received extensive funding for his research from the tobacco industry, for which he had worked as a consultant over several decades, as well as participating in its pro-smoking campaigns.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Singapore Med J v. Singapore Med J. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Csermely P. Stress of Life:From Molecules to Man. Kovacs K. Ann N Y Acad Sci. American Psychologist Neufeld RW. Psychological Stress and Psychopathology. Perdrizet GA. Hans Selye and Beyond:Responses to Stress.

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