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Young Queers Getting Together: Moving Beyond Isolation
and Loneliness. PhD. Thesis, Youth Research Centre, Department of
Education Policy and Management, The University of Melbourne. PDF Download
Dispenza, Franco (2011). Minority Stress and Life Role Saliency among Sexual Minorities. PhD Dissertation, College of Education, Georgia State University. PDF Download.
Drummond, Alexander (2008). This
literature review was part of an MSc dissertation exploring the level
of training counsellors and therapists have in working with issues of
sexuality and gender diversity. Full
Economou, Peter J (2011). Experiences of the White Gay Male: An Investigation of the Relationship between Factors of Being Gay, Heterosexism, and the Stress Response System. Dissertations. Paper 1762. PhD Dissertation, Seton Hall University. PDF Download.
Signe (2010). Nonsuicidal self-injury in queer youth. Master's
Dissertation, Counselling Psychology, University of British Columbia. PDF
Download. Download Page.
Graham, Stephanie R (2009). Counseling Competency with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients: Perceptions of Counseling Graduate Students. PhD Dissertation, Auburn University. PDF
Download. Download Page.
Jung, Gretchen (2011). But we still end up dead: effects of mainstream Hollywood film on Queer identity development. Master's Dissertation, Education, California State University Sacramento. PDF Download. Download Page.
McGann, Kevin (2010). Trainees' Use of Supervision for Clinical Work with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients: A Qualitative Study. PhD Dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park. PDF Download. Download Page.
Shelton, Kimber Leigh (2009). Sexual orientation microaggressions: the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer clients in psychotherapy. PhD Dissertation, The University of Georgia. PDF
Download. Download Page. Related Paper: Sexual orientation microaggressions: the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer clients in psychotherapy (2011).
Page, Matthew JL (2011). Religious and Sexual Identity in LGB Youth: Stressors, Identity Difficulty, and Mental Health Outcomes. Open Access Theses. Paper 282. Maaster's Dissertation, University of Miami. PDF
Torres, Rodrigo (2011). In their own words: A qualitative analysis of relational resilience in the lives of gay, bisexual, and questioning male youth. PhD Dissertation, Department of Psychology, DePaul University. PDF Download. Download Page.
Tran, Janine (2010). Sexual Identity and Depression Among Vietnamese-American Gay and Bisexual Men. Master's Dissertation, Department of Social Work, California State University, Long Beach. PDF Download.
Wharton, Virginia Wyatt (2007). Gender variance and mental health : a national survey of transgender trauma history, posttraumatic stress, and disclosure in therapy. MSW Dissertation, Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass. PDF Download. Download Page.
Abstract by author: This study was a phenomenological exploration of the gay male patient’s experience of gay affirmative psychotherapy, which operates on the assumption that homosexuality is as ontologically valid as heterosexuality.
A review of the psychoanalytic literature revealed that Freud (1905/1962, 1910, 1911) had a tolerant stance on homosexuality for his era, yet his followers became divided on this issue. Contemporary psychotherapeutic approaches in the fields of psychiatry, psychology and social work range from gay affirmative to "reparative." There is still a dearth of literature on gay affirmative psychotherapy. This study integrated feminist and phenomenological, methodology. Such triangulation of method strengthens the design of a qualitative study (Patton, 1990).
Nine men participated in the study after responding to a flier inviting them to share their experiences of being validated as gay men by their therapists. Tape-recorded interviews lasted from 1 ¼ to 2 hours each. After the participants reviewed the interview transcripts, the researcher utilized phenomenological reduction and imaginative variation to express the essence of each participant’s experience. Participant feedback was then obtained, assuring participant validation (Moustakas, 1994). The researcher then extracted qualities to create a description of the group’s experience as a whole.
The findings indicated that certain personal and professional qualities in the therapist enabled the patient to experience the therapy as affirmative. Isay’s (1985/1995, 1991/1995, 1995) encouragement of an actively affirmative stance to counteract the effects of homophobia was supported, as well as Malyon’s (1982/1995) recommendation that the patient’s homosexuality be unconditionally accepted, and its expression facilitated.
The findings also suggested that with sensitivity, imagination, and relevant experience, the heterosexual therapist may be gay affirmative; the gay therapist may more easily serve as a role model. Research recommendations and implications were discussed, as well.
Lewes KA (1985). The psychoanalytic theory of male homosexuality. PhD. Thesis, The University of Michigan, DAI, Vol. 46-04B, p. 1370, 430 pages.
Abstract by author: The psychoanalytic theory of male homosexuality is reviewed and criticized. Freud, despite certain cultural presuppositions, outlined the basic theory, emphasizing oedipal dynamics, which was confirmed and amplified by his immediate followers, who, however, stressed the connections between homosexuality and rather severe psychopathologies such as paranoia and schizophrenia. Nevertheless, this early group allowed for the possibility of outcomes of the Oedipus Complex alternative to the normative one of heterosexuality. They also maintained the importance of such constitutional factors as innate bisexuality and narcissistic object choices.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the prominent interest in oral precursors of the Oedipus Complex expanded the analytic discourse on homosexuality, but also reinforced the notion of the intrinsic psychopathology of that condition. At about the time of World War II, psychoanalytic norms of health and normalcy became more conventional, so that the data presented by the Kinsey Report were, for the most part, rejected by analysts. After the War, the tendency of psychoanalysts to subscribe to American social norms increased, primarily among "revisionist" schools of psychoanalysis. Theoretically, such constitutional factors as narcissism and bisexuality were reformulated as defensive manoeuvres, a teleology for the Oedipus Complex in heterosexual genitality was posited, and rhetorically the character of homosexuals was vilified. This split in psychoanalysis became focused during the APA decision to delete homosexuality from the list of emotional disorders, which also began to consider such issues as the necessarily psychopathological condition of homosexual object choice and the appropriateness of curing that condition.
A concluding chapter suggests that the limitations in the psychoanalytic theory of male homosexuality were due to an embourgeoisement of analytic norms, an innate gynaikophobic stance and a counter-transferential defense against homosexual trends in analysts themselves.
Liddle BJ (1991).An investigation of sexual orientation bias among counselor trainees. PhD. Thesis, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, DAI, Vol. 52-07A, p. 2414, 109 pages.
Abstract by author: One hundred twenty-three heterosexual male and female counselors in training at seven southeastern universities watched a videotaped female client in a staged counseling session. The stated sexual orientation (heterosexual or lesbian) of the client was manipulated via referral notes which the counseling students read before viewing the videotape. The students were asked to indicate their first impressions of this client, using two instruments. Rubin's Liking Scale was used to assess how much each student liked the client.
A 2 x 2 factorial analysis of variance revealed a significant subject gender by client sexual orientation interaction. Female counseling students liked the lesbian client more than they liked the heterosexual client. The trend for male counseling students was in the opposite direction, but failed to reach statistical significance. Male students liked the heterosexual client significantly more than the female students did.
A modified version of the Bem Sex Role Inventory was used to assess subjects' judgments of the magnitude of the difference between the client's current functioning and her ideal functioning. A 2 x 2 factorial analysis of variance of these "distance from ideal" scores yielded no significant differences due to subject gender or client sexual orientation.
Long LE (1997). Psychologists' discomfort level with client sexual attraction or anger as a function of counselor sexual orientation, experience level, and counselor and client gender. PhD. Thesis, University of Missouri, DAI, Vol. 58-03B, p. 1537, 141 pages.
Abstract by author: Researchers rarely study psychologists’ reactions and responses to client sexual attraction. The non-empirical literature often portrays the phenomenon as transference / countertransference or manipulation. Empirical and non-empirical writers frequently describe therapists’ reactions as negative. The existing research suggests that client sexual attraction does occur with some regularity and therapists respond differently when compared to other client behaviors. However, these studies are limited methodologically and in scope. Although the impact of gender on the therapeutic relationship is frequently examined, the effect of the sexual orientation is rarely examined. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of client sexual attraction on psychologists’ level of discomfort.
A stratified random sample of 600 psychologist members of the American Psychology Association, divisions 17 and 44, was used. Two-hundred forty-four useable questionnaires were returned. Fifty-two percent of the respondents were female, had an average of 13.7 years post-doctoral clinical experience, and 40% reported a gay or lesbian sexual orientation. Respondents completed the State Anxiety Inventory (A), read one of four case vignettes, completed the State Anxiety Inventory (B), wrote a counseling response, and completed the demographics form. Written responses were coded and scored with regard to psychologist approach/avoidance behavior.
This study was a factorial design. The data partially supported the hypotheses that psychologists experience more discomfort when a client expresses sexual attraction than when a client expresses anger. Psychologists encountering female client attraction experienced a greater increase in anxiety (M = 2.82) than when they encountered females expressing anger (M = 1.15). Unexpectedly, a greater increase occurred when a male expressed anger (M = 2.55) than a male expressed attraction (M = 1.18). Psychologist gender did not affect anxiety level or avoidance behavior of respondents in either condition. Although psychologists were more or less anxious with client attraction or anger, their anxiety was not reflected in their avoidance behavior.
With regard to sexual orientation and experience level, the results did not support the hypotheses that heterosexual psychologists would experience more discomfort when a same-sex client expressed attraction than when an opposite-sex client expressed attraction. Gay and lesbian psychologists did not report more discomfort with opposite-sex client attraction than same-sex client attraction. Furthermore, experience level did not affect psychologist discomfort when faced with instances of client sexual attraction.
McClesky KE (1991). The effects of a specialized training program about homosexuality on the knowledge and attitudes of counselor trainees. ED.D. Thesis, East Texas State University, DAI, Vol. 52-04A, p. 1213, 153 pages.
Abstract by author: Purpose of the study. The purpose of this study was to examine the knowledge and attitudes about homosexuality of graduate level counselor trainees before and after the presentation of a specialized training program. Attitude and knowledge changes were compared to those changes in a second group of counselor trainees. Additionally, attitudes and knowledge of a third group of graduate students who were not counselor trainees were measured.
Procedure. A total of 87 subjects participated in the study. Subjects were students enrolled in Counseling 510 course and a Secondary and Higher Education course at East Texas State University, first summer term, 1990. Subjects were pre-tested, post-tested, and post-post tested using the Homosexuality Information Questionnaire, the Index of Attitudes Toward Homosexuals, the Homosexuality Attitude Scale, a semantic differential for the concept of Gay Men, and a semantic differential for the concept of Gay Women. Subjects also completed a personal data form. The experimental group received the treatment, which consisted of a lecture by the researcher, a video tape titled On Being Gay: A Conversation with Brian McNaught, and lectures by two guest lecturers who are experts in the area of counseling homosexual clients. The data were analyzed using Analysis of Covariance (Hypotheses 1-10), paired t-tests (Hypotheses 11-15), and grouped t-tests (Hypotheses 16-20).
Findings and conclusions. Data presented
in this study revealed the following: (1) There was a significant increase
in the area of knowledge within the experimental group. (2) The Index of
Attitudes Toward Homosexuals showed significant positive change of the
experimental group in comparison to the control group in both post and
post-post testing. (3) The Homosexuality Attitude Scale showed no differences
between the experimental group and the control group in either testing
period. (4) The tests for the effects
of time changes in knowledge and attitudes in the experimental group indicated that there were no changes between test scores for the attitude scales and that the level of knowledge scores dropped significantly. (5) The test scores of all five tests for the group of counselor trainees and the group of non-counselors indicated that there were no significant differences between the two groups.
McGirr MV (1980). Gender characteristics attributed to heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual persons by therapists and non-therapists. PhD. Thesis, Fordham University, DAI, Vol. 41-03B, p. 1094, 133 pages.
Abstract by author: In our society, traditional gender-role stereotypes have described "masculine" men as assertive, independent, and decisive and "feminine" women as dependent, warm, and concerned with the welfare of others. Inherent in the stereotype was the assumption that masculine men and feminine women were heterosexual. Adherence to the gender-role stereotypes implied an acceptable level of personal adjustment and heterosexual status, while non-adherence implied that persons were mentally "sick" and sexually deviant. These stereotypes were widely held by lay persons as well as mental health practitioners who were presumably trained in standards of adjustment for men and women.
Recently, the Women's Movement and the Gay Liberation Movement have sought to challenge these traditional gender-role stereotypes. Changing psychological theory has also posited the view that androgynous behavior, i.e., the expression of both masculine and feminine behavior, results in wider role options, greater adaptability, and, by extension, a better level of adjustment for men and women. The focus of the present research was to explore the current gender-role stereotypes for persons of heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual sexual preference held by therapists and a group of comparably educated non-therapists. Also, the variables of self gender identity, attitudes toward women, and knowledge of psychosexuality were explored to determine the extent, if any, of their relationship to stereotypic ratings of others.
Participants were 62 therapists (clinical psychologists and psychiatric social workers) and 80 non-therapists (teachers and lawyers) from the metropolitan New York area. Each participant was contacted by mail and asked to complete a questionnaire with measures of: stereotypic ratings of heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual persons; self gender identity; attitudes toward women; and knowledge of psychosexuality. Data was analyzed using a 2 (respondents' status, i.e., therapist vs. non-therapist) x 2 (sex of stimulus person) x 3 (psychosexual orientation of stimulus person, i.e., heterosexual, homosexual, vs. bisexual) nonorthogonal regression approach of analysis of variance procedure with independent measures. Correlation of variables related to stereotypic judgments of others was determined by the Pearson correlation coefficient.
Results indicated that: (a) therapists did not differ significantly from non-therapists in their ratings of stimulus persons; (b) men, described as masculine, were rated significantly different from women, described as feminine, on the basis of biological sex; (c) a significant interaction effect was found for sex x psychosexual orientation of stimulus persons such that heterosexual men and women were rated significantly different from one another; (d) heterosexual women were the most stereotyped of all stimulus persons; and (e) gay and bisexual persons, described as androgynous, were rated similar to and not statistically different from one another.
Contrary to expectations, self gender identity, attitudes toward women, and knowledge of psychosexuality were not significantly related to stereotypic ratings of others. Therapists, in comparison to non-therapists, were significantly more liberal in their attitudes toward women and had more knowledge of human psychosexuality. The two groups did not differ significantly in their self gender identity, both groups perceiving themselves to be androgynous in comparison to their ratings of stimulus persons.
Melartin RL (1996). How psychologists work with parents of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. PSY.D. Thesis, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, DAI, Vol. 57-05B, p. 3416, 137 pages.
Abstract by author: This project explores the experiences of clinicians who have treated parents adjusting to the sexual orientation of their gay, lesbian, or bisexual child. One thousand questionnaires were sent out targeting members of Division 44 of the American Psychological Association (The Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian and Gay Issues). The questionnaire explored their experiences with, and attitudes about, treating parents of gays and lesbians. Division 44 was chosen as being more likely to include members interested in, and cognizant of, sexual orientation issues than the APA as a whole. The survey also asked for demographic information, theoretical orientation in clinical practice, attitudes towards homosexuality, and attitudes towards disclosure of sexual orientation. The responses were summarized along a number of dimensions such as the frequency of seeing parents in this situation and commonalities in effective treatment approaches.
The results of this survey suggest that therapists knowledgeable about sexual orientation provide an important service in the mental health field. In this sample, 60% of clinicians had treated parents of gays and lesbians. For 77% of these parents, their child's sexual orientation had been a primary presenting issue. On the whole, clinicians felt that they had provided successful treatment. Support and exploration of feelings and psychoeducation were endorsed as the two most important elements in treatment. Treatment challenges and implications for therapy and training are discussed, and topics for further research are suggested.
Morgan KS (1993). Factors influencing lesbians' attitudes toward psychotherapy. PhD. Thesis, The University of Iowa, DAI, Vol. 54-09B, p. 4902, 105 pages.
Abstract by author: This study investigated factors which influence lesbians' use of psychotherapy services. This research was undertaken in an effort to provide possible explanations for lesbians' disproportionately high use of psychotherapy. Participants completed surveys assessing attitudes toward psychotherapy, demographic variables, and experiences unique to lesbians thought to influence attitudes toward therapy. The uniquely lesbian experiences assessed included experiencing heterosexist oppression, the psychological impact of coming out, the support for psychotherapy within the lesbian community, and the intense nature of lesbian relationships.
Attitudes toward therapy were assessed using Surgenor's (1985) revision of Fischer and Turner's (1970) Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale. The sample comprised 247 participants recruited through lesbian and gay community organizations in the state of Iowa. The sample was largely Caucasian, in their mid-thirties, highly educated, and identified themselves as feminist. Closely replicating previous research, 78% had been in therapy. Stepwise regression procedures were used to assess the usefulness of the demographic and lesbian variables in predicting attitudes toward therapy.
Results suggested that the lesbian variables of experiencing heterosexist oppression and positive attitudes toward therapy within the lesbian community, and the experience of having been in therapy, were more powerful predictors of attitudes toward therapy than were the demographic variables. Experiencing heterosexist oppression was also the most powerful predictor of length of time in therapy. Qualitative analyses of psychological issues taken to therapy, reasons for seeking therapy and reasons for not seeking therapy, and participants' beliefs about the limitations of the usefulness of therapy for lesbians are presented.
Participants expressed concerns about lesbians seeking therapy from psychotherapists who are heterosexist, homophobic, or do not have training and experience working with lesbian clients. Implications for future research and for practice and training are discussed, including the need for clinicians and trainees to recognize the important impact of living with heterosexist oppression on lesbians' psychological functioning.
Myers MK (1994). Psychologists' attitudes toward gay ethnic minority AIDS patients: implications for treatment. PhD. Thesis, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, DAI, Vol. 55-11B, p. 5081, 165 pages.
Abstract by author: This study examined attitudes of licensed, California psychologists toward gay ethnic minority AIDS patients, and what impact their attitudes may have upon treatment issues such as countertransference empathy, developing a therapeutic alliance, and expectations about prognosis. Questionnaires were anonymously completed by 275 licensed psychologists who read one of twelve case vignettes and responded to two questionnaires.
It was hypothesized that psychologists' attitudes would be more negative toward individuals with AIDS, homosexuals with AIDS, ethnic minorities with AIDS, and homosexual, ethnic minority individuals with AIDS. No support for any of the research hypotheses was obtained. Supplementary analyses were conducted on ranked treatment and diagnostic issues.
The top five ranked treatment issues to be considered in therapy included depression, developing support networks, feelings about death, coping with a physical illness, and meaning of the patient's illness. The top four ranked diagnostic considerations were adjustment disorder, mood disorder, anxiety disorder, and organic disorder. No consistent patterns emerged across the twelve experimental conditions.
Results of this study failed to support previous research which found that psychologists' attitudes were negative toward persons with AIDS and homosexuals with AIDS. Clinical implications and suggestions for future research are included.
Niolon RA (1997). Experiences of gays and lesbians as students in psychology programs. PhD. Thesis, Saint Louis University, DAI, Vol. 58-08B, p. 4463, 144 pages.
Abstract by author: Nine gay and lesbian graduate students from clinical and counseling psychology training programs were interviewed by telephone regarding their experiences in their training program, their view of their personal and professional development, and their suggestions for improving the training of graduate students. All who self-identified as gay or lesbian prior to applying to graduate school screened their training programs. All raised concerns about being openly gay or lesbian and the consequences this decision would entail. However, all agreed that being closeted in graduate school carried numerous emotionally hazardous risks.
Seven subjects recalled experiencing some form of discrimination in their interactions with students and faculty, both in and out of the classroom. All reported stressful interactions with fellow students, and most reported having to educate faculty and peers regarding the experiences, career options, and the lifestyle of gays and lesbians in order to make the environment adequately hospitable. Eight students recalled experiences of prejudice or discrimination outside of graduate school that caused distress in their personal lives; most believed that faculty were largely unaware of these issues.
Few participants had what they considered to be a mentor relationship with a faculty member. None reported that their program adequately covered gay and lesbian issues in its curriculum. Eight students raised concerns about the quality of clinical supervision they received. Three debated the issue of being openly gay or lesbian with gay or lesbian patients; three were open to patients as a general rule. Eight students commented upon difficulties conducting research on gay and lesbian issues, and the absence of knowledgeable and experienced faculty to guide such work.
Suggestions for the recruitment, training, and mentoring of gay and lesbian students are presented, as well as the experiences of the primary investigator in conducting this research.
Publication No. 9803803
Nystrom NM (1997).Oppression by mental health providers: a report by gay men and lesbians about their treatment. PhD. Thesis. University of Washington, DAI, Vol. 58-06A, p. 2394, 134 pages.
Abstract by author: Information provided by 1,466 gay men and lesbians is reviewed to determine how often they utilize mental health care services, whether being "out" to the provider effects the treatment they receive, whether the respondents' experiences with mental health providers have been positive, negative, or neutral, and how the respondents report they have been treated by the providers of mental health services. In addition, age, income, education level, and professional status are examined for relationship with the reported treatment experiences. Open-ended answers provided by those who reported having received poor or inappropriate service are examined to determine the types of problems the respondents report.
The respondents are from all 50 states, ranging in age from 18-81 (mean age: 36 years), and 46% are women (n = 670). Analysis reveals that forty two percent (n = 610) of the total sample indicate they have seen a mental health provider within the last twelve months, with 98% (n = 600) reporting being out to some, most, or all of their providers. In addition, analysis reveals that 24.3%, (n = 146) of those who utilize mental health services indicate they have received poor or inappropriate service from the provider.
Open-ended responses reveal that 45.6% (n = 57) report having experienced a homophobic therapist. 34.4% (n = 43) report the therapist refused to acknowledge the respondent's sexual orientation, or dismissed the respondent's sexual orientation as a temporary "fad" situation. Attempts at reparative therapy, or "curing" the respondent are reported by 9.6% (n = 12), 7.2% (n = 9) report derogatory verbal comments about the respondent's sexual orientation by the therapist, and 3.2% (n = 4) report inappropriate sexual behavior by the therapist.
Those who report having received poor or inappropriate service are of all ages, all income groups, from all areas of residence, and all education levels. Of the total sample, 77.6% (n = 1137) of the respondents report they have been the subject of harassment by someone within the last two years. The findings indicate a treatment problem for those gay men and lesbians who seek mental health care, a practice problem for those who provide that care, and a practice problem for those who educate and train those providers.
Oulton JA (1994). "Sexual disorder not otherwise specified" (DSM III-R, 1987): making and remaking lesbian and gay lives. M.S.W. Thesis, Dalhousie University, MAI, Vol. 34-01, p. 163, 166 pages, ISBN: 0-315-98917-3.
Abstract by author: This thesis is located in and focuses upon the everyday limits and possibilities for lesbian women and gay men who have been diagnosed and treated by psychiatry. The analysis begins with and in the knowledge and experiences of three lesbian women and three gay men, identifying the contradictions and the tensions which emerge as they confront underlying values of heterosexism and homophobia embedded within the ordinary language and institutionalized practices of psychiatry. The thesis draws from a set of ideas which suggest that sexualities are historically and socially created through language and social practice, rather than being natural, biological or essential. Theories of social construction, together with feminist standpoint theory, provide the conceptual frame to tease apart the structuring of local and particular meanings which are partially organized through a larger set of complex and overlapping relations of power.
The research explores the meaning of "homosexuality" as coordinated through the discourse and practices of psychiatry, as well as through the ongoing organization of lesbian and gay resistance. The research conversations, interpretation and analysis highlight critical and reflexive practice as a way to move toward transformation and change within social work, as well as within the lives of lesbian women and gay men.
Pettinger JA (1995). A survey of school psychologists' attitudes and feelings toward gay and lesbian youths. PSY.D., Thesis, State university of New York, DAI, Vol. 56-05B, p. 2945, 320 pages.
Abstract by author: In both the popular media and professional literature, increased attention has focused on the subject of homosexuality. While information on homosexuality in adults is available, there is a remarkable lack of information on homosexuality in children and youth. A review of the literature indicated several risk factors associated with youths who are identified as gay and lesbian, including: depression, suicide, parental rejection, social isolation, harassment and violence, school drop-out, and drug/alcohol abuse. As such, it is likely that school psychologists will encounter these students in their schools. The purpose of this study was to examine the feelings and attitudes of school psychologists toward gay and lesbian youths. In addition, the relationship between these attitudes and feelings and demographic characteristics was examined.
A random sample of 500 school psychologists employed in public schools in New York state was surveyed regarding their attitudes and feelings toward gay and lesbian youths. Specifically, feelings were assessed by using the Index of Homophobia (IH), and attitudes were assessed using the Modified Attitudes Toward Homosexuality Scale (MATHS). The majority (61.3%) of the school psychologists' MATHS scores fell in the positive attitudes range; none of the respondents' scores were in the negative ranges. When examining feelings, the majority of the respondents' scores fell in the "low grade nonhomophobic" range; 27% of the respondents' scores fell in the "homophobic" ranges. The relationship between the demographic variables and the feelings and attitudes of the respondents were then examined using Chi-square analyses, three of which were significant. Specifically, gender was significantly related to scores on both the IH and the MATHS, indicating that females had significantly more positive feelings and attitudes than males. Additionally, assessment role activities were related to attitudes.
The results of this investigation appear to have implications for education and school psychology. It would seem that schools might want to communicate to all students their awareness of diversity, and ensure the same rights to all students to a safe environment. To this end, provision of a continuum of services to meet the needs of all students is recommended.
Ratti TA (1995). Risk factors affecting social support in heterosexual aids-related spousal bereavement. PhD. Thesis, The University of Southern Mississippi, DAI, Vol. 57-01B, p. 0708, 110 pages.
Abstract by author: Bereavement is inevitable when AIDS strikes. There has been much research on AIDS-related bereavement in the gay men's community, and on the stigma associated with same-gender sexual behavior. As AIDS emerges in the heterosexual population, it will be important to understand its impact on the bereavement process when same-gender sexual behavior is not involved. The purpose of this study was to examine some of the risk factors that may affect the social support given by potential comforters in heterosexual AIDS-related spousal bereavement.
Volunteer undergraduate student respondents (N = 437) read a fictitious newspaper article that described the death of a married man who had AIDS, and imagined that they knew his bereaved wife. The newspaper article varied the cause of death (suicide, or medical complications) and mode of contracting AIDS (heterosexual intercourse, IV drug use, or blood transfusion). Respondents then completed a questionnaire that incorporated several measures of social support (assessing social perceptions, ability to express sympathy, willingness to interact, and preferred social distance), as well as demographic information.
Statistical analysis indicated that women were moderately (12 of 28 dependent measures) more supportive than were men. Also, compared to medical complications, when death was caused by suicide, comforters were slightly (8 of 28 dependent measures) more supportive. Finally, compared to heterosexual intercourse or IV drug use, when AIDS was contracted from a blood transfusion, comforters were minimally (2 of 28 dependent measures) more supportive.
There were no significant main effect differences between heterosexual intercourse and IV drug use as modes of contracting AIDS, and there were no significant interaction effects between gender of respondents, cause of death, and mode of contracting AIDS. In almost all cases, the actual differences in levels of social support were relatively small, and raised serious questions about their clinical significance.
The limitations of the present study were discussed, and the resulting recommendations included selecting or developing improved measures of social support, encouraging additional research with more diverse respondents, and examining other factors that are thought to influence social support.
Robertson TL (1996). Gay male development: hermeneutic and self psychological principal. PSY.D. Thesis, California School of Professional Psychology, DAI, Vol. 57-10B, p. 6589, 335 pages.
Abstract by author: This dissertation explores the developmental literature in order to unmask heterosexist bias and shift the focus from etiology to the anticipation of healthy, expectable gay development. Psychological literature is mostly silent about homosexuality in childhood and therefore cannot offer guidance to parents, teachers, physicians, or therapists. Where the literature does address homosexuality in childhood, the focus tends to be on etiology and disorders of gender. In contrast, this thesis offers an exploration of the subjective experiences of gay children, adolescents, and young adults, and of the vicissitudes of maintaining selfobject relatedness while managing difference in a homophobic, heterosexist culture. Postmodern, hermeneutic, and self psychological theories are described, then used to illuminate development and to contextualize psychological theories that are commonly referenced regarding homosexuality. While offering a general developmental perspective, this thesis deals with specific theoretical and clinical issues that I have selected as compelling, given the theoretical vacuum that confronts clinicians who treat gay men. The work of writers who have focused on gay male development is reviewed.
Principal arguments of this thesis are: the experience of gender is a social construction and homosexuality and masculinity are not incompatible; the DSM IV diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder is a form of culturally imposed heterosexism designed to discover and treat homosexuality in childhood; oedipal dynamics can be used to explain many variant forms of sexuality but cannot privilege a particular outcome; homoerotic desire comprises an ontological starting place for some boys - healthy psychological development will depend more on the reactions of the surround than any unfolding of "homosexual" dynamics; adolescence is a particularly vulnerable time as the culture inculcates and celebrates heterosexuality and stigmatizes homosexuality; identity formation is ongoing and changes over time - there is no class of persons that naturally fit any definition of "homosexual."
I suggest clinical and treatment implications, with the aim of shifting the treating clinicians’ overall perspective rather than giving specific treatment advice. Finally, I ask who can competently treat gay male clients, and conclude that only clinicians willing to undergo personal transformation and enter a genuine hermeneutic dialogue with patients should attempt treatment; others should refer.
Robinson JA (1993). Sexual contact between gay male clients and male therapists. PhD. Thesis, University of Southern California, DAI, Vol. 54-12B, p. 6446.
Abstract by author: The purpose of this study was to describe the experience of gay men who had sexual contact with male therapists, and to look at the ways homophobia and masculine identities contribute to the silence around this topic.
The study looked at the following: the men's reactions to taking part in this study; their descriptions and impressions of the sexualized therapy; the perceived characteristics of the therapists; the participants' ascribed meaning to the experience; the therapists' possible justification for sexualizing therapy; the impact of the sexualized therapy; the participants' current view of the experience; uses of redress procedures; and reactions from others to the men's disclosure of this experience. These results were compared with studies of female clients who had been sexually abused by male and female therapist.
Twelve men participated in semistructured interviews based loosely on interviews done by Benowitz (1991) with female clients. The men also responded to a Symptom Check List developed by Vinson (1984) and Benowitz to monitor Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in clients who had sexual contact with therapists.
Most of the men reported very ambivalent responses to the sexualized therapy, describing confusion over boundaries, responsibility, and benefits from the experience. The participants, with one exception, reported that therapy ended when sexual contact began, and that the impact of the sexual contact was often initially exciting but ultimately depressing and debilitating. Themes of isolation and resignation were prominent despite the few symptoms endorsed on the Symptom Check List.
All but one of the participants chose not to pursue legal recourse against the therapists, citing various reasons for remaining silent: the men felt responsible for the contact and, often, confused over the enjoyable aspects; most felt that the legal system would be hostile toward a gay man claiming sexual abuse; and many of the participants felt compassion for the therapist and, hence, were unwilling to "betray" him.
Comparisons with female clients indicated that the men endorsed fewer symptoms but described more constricted relationships after the sexualized therapy. Implications for further research and for treatment were discussed.
Rudolph JR (1988).The effects of a multimodal seminar on mental health practitioners' attitudes toward homosexuality. PhD. Thesis, Lehigh University, DAI, Vol. 49-07B, p. 2873, 218 pages.
Abstract by author: This study
investigated the impact of a workshop about counseling gay clients on mental
health practitioners' affective and cognitive attitudes toward homosexuality,
gay-counseling effectiveness, and authoritarian attitudes, as contrasted
with an untreated
comparison group. Subjects consisted of mental health practitioners and mental health trainees voluntarily enrolled in a 20.5-day seminar devoted to gay counseling (experimental, n = 21), and graduate students enrolled in counselor education coursework (comparison, n = 31). The (IAH) Index of Attitudes Toward Homosexuals (affective); the (HAS) Homosexuality Attitude Scale (cognitive); the (RDS) Ray Directiveness Scale (authoritarianism); and a (CEM) Counseling Effectiveness Measure (quasi-behavioral), consisting of responding to audiotape vignettes depicting gay clients in distress, were used as dependent measures.
Treatment subjects completed all measures immediately before and after the workshop; 20 (95%) completed all measures except the CEM at 8-week mail follow-up. It was impractical to complete the CEM by mail, since it employed audiotaped vignettes and the pretest and posttest responses were time-limited. Comparison subjects were pretested 1-2 weeks prior to the treatment pretesting, and posttested 2-5 days later. Twenty-six comparison subjects (84%) completed measures except the CEM at the 8-week follow-up. Treatment subjects were exposed to a 20-hour, multimodal presentation covering topics relevant to gay counseling. The format was didactic-lecture, videotape/film, case-study/role-play, and small-group discussion. The research design was a variation on the quasi-experimental, nonequivalent pretest-posttest design.
Statistical analysis consisted of a 2 x 3 multifactorial repeated measures analysis of variance with unequal size. It was hypothesized treatment subjects would score significantly more gay-affirmative on affective (IAH) and cognitive (HAS) attitudes toward homosexuality and less authoritarian (RDS) at posttest and follow-up, and more gay-counseling effective (CEM) at posttest and follow-up, than comparison subjects. These hypotheses were supported (p < .05 to .01).
It was further hypothesized that significant correlations between subjects' improved attitudes toward homosexuality (IAH and HAS), decreased authoritarianism (RDS), and increased counseling effectiveness (CEM) would emerge. This hypothesis was not supported.
It was concluded a multimodal 20-hour treatment focusing upon multiple issues about homosexuality and gay psychotherapy can result in significant and enduring positive homosexual attitude modification.
Taylor PJ (1992).Gay men's engagement in psychotherapy as a function of therapist gender and therapist self-disclosure of sexual orientation: an analogue study. PhD. Thesis, Columbia University, DAI, Vol. 53-11B, p. 6000, 152 pages.
Abstract by author: This study investigated the effect of therapist gender and self-disclosure of sexual orientation and client stage of gay identity formation on gay male clients' engagement in psychotherapy. Engagement was operationalized as clients' willingness to self-disclose to the therapist and perception of the therapist as facilitative, as defined by Rogers (1957).
Questionnaires completed by 159 gay men included a vignette of a therapist-client interaction that systematically varied therapist gender (male and female) and therapist self-disclosure (disclosing as gay, disclosing as straight, or non-disclosing), the Homosexual Identity Questionnaire (Brady, 1983/1984), a modified version of the Jourard Self-Disclosure Questionnaire (Jourard & Lasakow, 1958), and a modified version of the Barrett-Lennard (1978) Relationship Inventory.
The study proposed that subjects would tend to self-disclose more to female therapists than to male therapists, more to self-disclosed gay or lesbian therapists than to self-disclosed straight therapists and non-disclosing therapists, and more to female therapists and self-disclosed gay male therapists than to non-disclosing or self-disclosed straight male therapists; that subjects would tend to perceive female therapists as more facilitative than male therapists, self-disclosed gay or lesbian therapists as more facilitative than self-disclosed straight therapists and non-disclosing therapists, and female therapists and self-disclosed gay male therapists as more facilitative than non-disclosing or self-disclosed straight male therapists; and that these effects would be stronger for subjects who had not yet begun the process of synthesizing their sexual identity with other aspects of their identity than for those who had begun the process of identity synthesis concerning their sexual orientation.
Hypotheses were tested using analyses of covariance, controlling for subjects' predisposition to seek professional help, psychopathology, and tendency to respond in socially desirable ways. None of the hypotheses were supported. The single significant finding was that subjects who had begun the process of identity synthesis were more willing to self-disclose to the hypothetical therapists, regardless of therapist gender or therapist self-disclosure of sexual orientation. Implications for future research and for clinical practice are discussed.
Vujnovic SA (1984). A profile of patients at a community agency serving sexual minorities. PhD. Thesis, University of Pittsburgh, DAI, Vol. 46-03B, p. 950, 340 pages.
Abstract by author: This study profiles individuals who sought outpatient care at a community agency specializing in the treatment of sexual minorities. Eight subgroups were extrapolated from the population. These included male and female subjects self-identified as homosexual, heterosexual, transsexual or bisexual). These groups then responded to a 10-page, 52-item questionnaire assessing demographics, previous psychiatric history and symptomatology, family, sex and drug and alcohol history. Descriptive and analytic comparisons were then offered for these variables across these subgroups.
Werth JL (1995). The effects of precipitating circumstances, stigma, and social support on psychologists' perceptions of suicidal ideators. PhD. Thesis, Auburn University, DAI, Vol. 56-09B, p. 5190, 131 pages.
Abstract by author: Randomly selected members of the National Register for Health Service Providers in Psychology were surveyed about their attitudes toward suicide. Participants received one of 12 vignettes in which three independent variables were manipulated: (a) the condition precipitating a decision to commit suicide, (b) the sexual orientation of the suicidal man, and (c) support for the decision to commit suicide. The six dependent variables included two scales related to acceptance of the decision, one scale to measure the amount of preventive action the respondent would take, and three scales to measure the stigma the respondent attached to the ideator.
Results of a MANOVA indicated that responding psychologists (N = 215; 48% response rate) were significantly more accepting of a suicide by a man with a terminal illness (either AIDS or bone cancer) than of one by a man with chronic, endogenous depression and would take significantly less action to prevent a suicide by a man with a terminal condition than they would for a man with depression. Respondents stigmatized the man significantly more if the decision to commit suicide was the result of depression instead of a terminal illness.
Neither the sexual orientation (gay or heterosexual) of the suicidal man nor the amount of support (present or absent) the suicidal man's family and friends had for the decision led to significant differences on any of the dependent variables. Participant belief in rational suicide was significantly related to increased levels of acceptance and decreased amounts of anticipated action but had no significant impact on amount of stigma. Participant demographics did not have a significant impact on any of the dependent variables.
One set of qualitative analyses provided reasons for responses on the preventive action scale and on one of the acceptance scales. A second set of analyses generated conditions that should be present for a suicidal decision to be considered rational. Eighty- six percent of the respondents believed in rational suicide and 20% of the respondents had had at least one client whom they believed had been rationally suicidal. Limitations to the study, comparisons with similar studies, implications of the results, and future research directions are noted.
Whited RM (1992). Redirecting sexual orientation. PhD. Thesis, Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Psychology, DAI, Vol. 53-12B, p. 6578, 213 pages.
Abstract by author: The Minnesota Multi-Phasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2), the Kinsey Heterosexual-Homosexual Scale (KHHS), and the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid (KSOG) were used to assess changes in psychological functioning associated with reported changes in sexual orientation. Tests were administered to participants in a religiously-mediated treatment program emphasizing transition from homosexuality to heterosexuality, and to a group of controls not receiving treatment. Subjects were assessed at the beginning of the treatment program, at the end of the program approximately 9 months later, and again approximately 6 months after the program.
For the treatment group (N = 31), scores on the KHHS decreased significantly from pretest to posttest, and scores on the KSOG decreased significantly on six out of seven dimensions of sexual orientation. Significant increases in gender conformity were also evidenced. There were significant decreases in levels of depression, and in elevations of Clinical Scales 4 (Pd) and 8 (Sc). Changes evidenced at the posttest were maintained at follow-up.
Relative to controls (N = 6), the treatment group evidenced significant decreases in KHHS scores, significant increases in masculine gender role, and significant decreases in elevation of Clinical Scale 4 (Pd). Decreases in elevation of Clinical Scale 4 (Pd) were correlated with decreases in scores on the KHHS, and with decreases in scores for four out of seven dimensions of sexual orientation on the KSOG. Greater conformity to stereotyped male gender role was associated with decreases in reported homosexual attraction.
Winegarden BJ (1994). Aversive heterosexism: an exploration of unconscious bias toward lesbian psychotherapy clients. PhD. Thesis, The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, DAI, Vol. 56-01B, p. 540, 113 pages.
Abstract by author: This dissertation examines the concept of "aversive heterosexism", or unconscious heterosexist bias, toward lesbian psychotherapy clients. It was hypothesized that "aversive heterosexism" was a valid concept similar to that of "aversive racism", which was described by Gaertner and Dovidio (1986) as a more subtle and unconscious form of racism which manifests itself in a contemporary climate, where it is socially unacceptable to be overtly racist. Analogously, it was hypothesized that a similar heterosexist bias existed within the psychological community, where it was becoming clear that heterosexist bias was similarly undesirable (Garnets, Hancock, Cochran, Goodchilds, & Peplau, 1991; American Psychological Association, 1992). The study described here attempted to accomplish four goals; to assess whether overt biases continue to occur simply on the basis of sexual orientation (overt heterosexism), to begin to assess the more unconscious and covert forms of heterosexism (aversive heterosexism), to assess instances of exemplary practice with lesbian clients, and finally, to explore therapist gender differences as they may arise in the treatment of lesbian clients.
The results confirm the continued existence of overt heterosexism, as well as the more subtle forms of aversive heterosexism. Instances of exemplary practice were evident, but infrequent. In addition, there were significant therapist gender differences in the treatment of the lesbian client. Furthermore, although not specifically hypothesized, but related to the concept of aversive heterosexism, the qualitative data suggested a strong use of a "color-blind" (Rist, 1974) or "sexual orientation-blind" approach to the treatment of lesbian clients. Such a neutral approach ignores lesbian-specific therapy issues and is contraindicated in the same way that a color-blind approach has been documented as potentially incomplete and/or harmful in the treatment of people of color (Schofield, 1986). The existence of these types of practice, therapist gender bias, and the "sexual orientation-blind" approach is discussed in relation to the practice of gay affirmative psychotherapy with lesbian clients.
Wisch AF (1997). Investigating the interaction of male client characteristics and male counselor gender role conflict as a basis for counselor bias. PhD. Thesis, Boston College, DAI, Vol. 58-10B, p. 5661, 165 pages.
Abstract by author: The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of gender role conflict on male counselors’ clinical judgments about male clients. Using a series of written clinical vignettes to manipulate the client variables of sexual orientation and emotional expression (i.e., anger, sadness, and restricted emotion), 196 male counselors completed the Gender Role Conflict Scale, read a clinical vignette varying sexual orientation and emotional expression, and rated the client’s level of functioning, their empathy towards, comfort with, liking of, and willingness to see the client, the client’s level of psychological adjustment, and the client’s prognosis. Counselors were also asked to indicate whether they attributed the client’s difficulties to internal vs. external and stable vs. unstable causes. Data were analyzed using Multivariate Analyses of Variance (MANOVAs).
Results indicated that gender role conflict interacted with client gender roles to influence clinical judgment. Low gender role conflict counselors rated the angry homosexual client as better adjusted than clients in the other conditions. One explanation for this effect is that because they have more positive attitudes towards homosexuality, low GRC counselors underpathologize these clients because they see them as appropriately angry given their sociopolitical circumstances. High gender role conflict counselors were found to rate the sad homosexual client as better adjusted than clients in the other conditions. One hypothesized explanation for this result is that by virtue of their negative attitudes towards homosexuality, high GRC counselors may see sadness as congruent with homosexuality, and therefore underpathologize sad homosexual male clients.
No significant effects were found for attitudinal or attributional variables in the main analyses. Correlational analyses confirmed the interaction of gender role conflict and client gender roles in influencing counselor attitudes towards male clients. There was no support for the hypothesis that counselors’ attributions of client psychopathology would be influenced by the interaction of these factors. Limitations of this study, implications for counseling, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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