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Title:The construction of shame and pride among sexual minority adolescents: A mixed-methods study
Author(s):Goffnett, Jacob Matthew
Director of Research:Windsor, Liliane; Wegmann, Kate
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Windsor, Liliane; Wegmann, Kate
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Liechty, Janet; Paceley, Megan; Goldbach, Jeremy
Department / Program:School of Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):sexual minority
emotions
measurement development
mixed-methods
theory
Abstract:Background: Shame and pride are salient to understanding the experiences of sexual minority adolescents because American society has culturally constructed their identities to be dichotomized as shameful and something to be hidden, or prideful, and something to be celebrated. Furthermore, there is indication from the general literature that these emotions are important to understanding identity development and well-being among sexual minority adolescents. However, little empirical research has been conducted to understand the influence these emotions have on this population. To better test these propositions, a theoretical framework and measure of shame and pride specific to sexual minority adolescents is needed. This study developed addresses these gaps. Methods: This study uses a developmental mixed methods design to qualitatively understand the evolution and impact of shame and pride among sexual minority adolescents and quantitatively develop and test the psychometrics of a measure to assess these emotions among this population. In the qualitative study, life history interviews conducted with 36 sexual minority adolescents were analyzed using grounded theory methods, including open, axial, and selective coding. The results from this study were used to develop a measure of shame and pride specific to the experiences of sexual minority adolescents. In the subsequent quantitative studies, the developed measure was distributed to a national sample of 354 sexual minority adolescents via an online survey. The sample was split so that 100 cases were used for an exploratory factor analysis, internal reliability test, and construct validity test. The remaining 254 cases were used to conduct a confirmatory factor analysis and to test the measures invariance across White and non-White participants. Results: Findings from the qualitative study suggest shame and pride emerge through an interaction between social context, life experiences of minority stress and resilience, and dimensions of self-concept. Shame occurred when participants believed their identity was worthless alongside overwhelming and painful feelings that encouraged them to hide their identities from others. Pride occurred when participants believed their identity was valuable that was accompanied by feelings of zestful pleasure, encouraging them to connect to supportive people and resources. Participants managed shame and pride through emotion work. They would reduce the visibility of their identities to appease the social context and avoid feelings of shame. They would increase the visibility of their identities to enrich the social context and achieve feelings of pride. In the next study, the resulting measure had a four-factor structure with 23 items exhibiting moderate to strong factor loadings. The SMIES' shame and pride subscales had strong internal consistency (α = .94 and .91, respectively). The measure also demonstrated adequate convergent validity with general measures of shame and pride and a measure of internalized homonegativity. Results from the CFA suggests the four-factor structure and covariance between latent constructs of the SMIES had a strong approximate fit with the data. Multigroup invariance testing found the measure to be equivalent across White and non-White participants at the configural and metric levels but was partially invariant at the scalar level. Implications: Findings from this study provide a theory for understanding the development and impact of shame and pride among sexual minority adolescents, as well as a psychometrically sound measure for assessing these emotions among this population. Future research should test the relationship these emotions have with identity development and well-being among larger samples to enrich these findings. Furthermore, practitioners should be aware of the influence these emotions have on development and well-being for sexual minority adolescents and work to minimize the impact of shame and maximize pride.
Issue Date:2020-07-17
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/108477
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Jacob Goffnett
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-10-07
Date Deposited:2020-08


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