College

Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences (BCAS)

Date of Last Revision

2020-05-07 11:29:23

Major

Psychology

Honors Course

3750:498

Number of Credits

2

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2020

Abstract

This correlational study was designed to evaluate the relationship between religiosity and internalized heterosexism among lesbian, bisexual, and gay (LGB) individuals. Religiosity was examined in terms of positive religious coping (PRC), redefining stressors as a positive spiritual opportunity, or negative religious coping (NRC), defining stressors as a negative struggle between the individual and a Higher Power. The researcher hypothesized that, as seen in previous studies, use of negative religious coping methods would correlate with internalized heterosexism, and that use of positive religious coping methods would significantly correlate with lower internalized heterosexism. Data analysis of participants (N=162) illustrated significant Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficients only between NRC and PRC, and NRC and internalized heterosexism. The first hypothesis was supported; meaning LGB individuals coping with minority stressors using NRC report a higher score of internalized heterosexism. PRC may be able to moderate mental well-being and minority stress, but this study does not support its moderation of internalized heterosexism and mental well-being. Understanding religious coping mechanisms LGB clients may use, or be using actively, can assist psychologists in treating the impact of internalized heterosexism by helping the client decrease their use of NRC. Psychologists may also be able to mitigate the grief and mourning experienced by some LGB individuals when they believe they must give up their religious identities.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Suzette L. Speight

First Reader

Dr. Kathryn M. Feltey

Second Reader

Dr. Rebecca A. Schlesinger

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Charles A. Waehler

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Signatures from my Readers & Honors Advisor

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