Date of Award

Summer 1-1-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts In Psychology, Clinical Specialization Degree

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Goncy, Elizabeth

Second Advisor

Kimberly Fuller, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Ilya Yaroslavsky, Ph.D.

Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been shown to be associated with numerous negative mental health outcomes, including depression (Spencer et al., 2019), anxiety disorders (Fonseca-Machado et al., 2015), and substance use disorders (Cafferky et al., 2018). However, while studies on IPV have become more prevalent in recent years, a significant deficit exists in psychological literature in the study of IPV within sexual minority populations. Sexual minority individuals of both genders are noted to experience IPV at rates similar to those typically seen in heterosexual female populations (Finneran & Stephenson, 2014). In addition, these individuals may experience significant minority stress, specifically in the form of internalized homophobia, that may impact outcomes from experiencing IPV (Lewis et al., 2017). The present study sought to examine differences in the manifestation of negative mental health outcomes between heterosexual and sexual minority individuals who experience physical and emotional IPV victimization. It was speculated that after experiencing IPV victimization, sexual minority individuals would endorse more severe depression, anxiety, and drug and alcohol abuse than heterosexual individuals, and that internalized homophobia would moderate this relationship. Ultimately, sexual minority individuals did not endorse more severe negative mental health outcomes as a result of IPV victimization, and internalized iii homophobia was only found to moderate the relationship between emotional victimization and alcohol and drug abuse, and physical victimization and alcohol abuse.

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