Research

Publications

Reitzel, L. R., Smith, N. G., Obasi. E. M., Forney, M., & Leventhal, A. M. (in press). Perceived distress tolerance accounts for the covariance between discrimination experiences and anxiety symptoms among sexual minority adults. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. [read more]

ABSTRACT

Sexual orientation-related discrimination experiences have been implicated in elevated rates of anxiety symptoms within sexual minority groups. Theory suggests that chronic discrimination experiences may dampen the ability to tolerate distress, increasing vulnerability for anxiety. This study examined the role of distress tolerance, or the capacity to withstand negative emotions, as a construct underlying associations between discriminatory experiences and anxiety among sexual minority adults. Participants (N = 119; Mage = 36.4 ± 14.8; 50% cisgender male, 31% cisgender female, 19% transgender; 37% non-Latino white) were recruited from Houston, Texas. Measures administered included the Heterosexist Harassment, Rejection, and Discrimination Scale (discrimination experiences), Distress Tolerance Scale (distress tolerance), and the State-Trait Inventory for Cognitive and Somatic Anxiety (anxiety). The association of discrimination experiences and anxiety through distress tolerance was assessed using covariate-adjusted mediation modeling. Results indicated that sexual orientation-related discrimination experiences were significantly and positively associated with anxiety and that this association was mediated through lower distress tolerance. Significant indirect effects were specific to cognitive (versus somatic) anxiety symptoms. Results suggest that distress tolerance may be an explanatory mechanism in the association between discriminatory experiences and cognitive symptoms of anxiety and a potentially relevant target within clinical interventions to address anxiety-related health disparities among sexual minority adults. However, more sophisticated designs are needed to delineate causal associations.

Juster, R. P., Ouellet, E., Lefebvre-Louis, J.-P., Sindi, S., Johnson, P. J., Smith, N. G., & Lupien, S. (2016). Retrospective coping strategies during sexual orientation identity formation and current biopsychosocial stress. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 29, 119-138. [read more]

ABSTRACT

Background: Lesbian, gay men, and bisexual individuals (LGBs) often experience distress related to the recognition, self-acceptance, and disclosure of their sexual orientation. Objectives and Design: Retrospectively reported coping strategies enacted during sexual identity formation among LGBs were assessed in relation to current stress indices measured using environmental (frequency of perceived daily hassles), psychological (perceived distress), and biological (allostatic load [AL] levels representing physiological dysregulations) perspectives. Methods: Forty-six healthy LGBs between the ages of 18 and 45 (M = 23.91, SE = .80) participated. Questionnaires included the Ways of Coping Checklist adapted to disclosure milestones, Daily Hassles Inventory, and Perceived Stress Scale. AL was calculated using 21 biomarkers of neuroendocrine, immune, cardiovascular, and metabolic functioning. Results: Avoidance coping during sexual identity formation was positively associated with frequency of daily hassles (β = .598, p < .001), perceived stress (β = .361, p = .015), and AL (β = .405, p = .006). By contrast, seeking social support was negatively associated with perceived stress (β = –.598, p = .048). Conclusions: Emotion-focused coping strategies during LGB sexual identity development are associated with current indices of biopsychosocial stress. doi:10.1080/10615806.2015.1004324

MacKinnon, C. J., Smith, N. G., Henry, M., Milman, E., Berish, M., Farrace, A. J., Körner, A., Chochinov, H. M., & Cohen, S. R. (2016). A pilot study of meaning-based group counseling for bereavement. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 72(3), 210-233. doi: 10.1177/0030222815575002

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ABSTRACT

Scientific studies demonstrating either the efficacy or effectiveness of interventions for uncomplicated bereavement are lacking. This study reports the results of a novel meaning-based group counseling (MBGC) intervention developed for bereaved adults. MBGC was built on previous scholarly critiques using a formative evaluation methodology within a group of bereaved adults (n = 11). The primary research questions were as follows: (a) How do bereft individuals respond to MBGC? and (b) What refinements are needed to MBGC to ensure feasibility? A secondary research question was: (c) Is collection of quantitative outcome measures at baseline and postintervention feasible? Analysis of multiple qualitative data sources resulted in numerous refinements to MBGC. Results indicate that the majority of participants found the meaning-based intervention beneficial. Limitations included concurrent external therapies and a small sample size that was largely homogenous. There were no major counterindications to proceeding with a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT).

Juster, R. P., Hatzenbuehler, M. L., Mendrek, A., Pfaus, J. G., Smith, N. G., Johnson, P. J., Lefebvre-Louis, J.-P., Raymond, C., Marin, M. F., Sindi, S., Lupien, S. J., & Pruessner, J. C. (2015). Sexual orientation modulates endocrine stress reactivity. Biological Psychiatry, 77, 668-676.

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ABSTRACT

Background: Biological sex differences and sociocultural gender diversity influence endocrine stress reactivity. Although numerous studies have shown that men typically activate stronger stress responses than women when exposed to laboratory-based psychosocial stressors, it is unclear whether sexual orientation further modulates stress reactivity. Given that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals frequently report heightened distress secondary to stigma-related stressors, we investigated whether cortisol stress reactivity differs between LGB individuals and heterosexual individuals in response to a well-validated psychosocial stressor.

Methods: The study population comprised 87 healthy adults (mean age, 25 years) who were grouped according to their biological sex and their gendered sexual orientation: lesbian/bisexual women (n = 20), heterosexual women (n = 21), gay/bisexual men (n = 26), and heterosexual men (n = 20). Investigators collected 10 salivary cortisol samples throughout a 2-hour afternoon visit involving exposure to the Trier Social Stress Test modified to maximize between-sex differences.

Results: Relative to heterosexual women, lesbian/bisexual women showed higher cortisol stress reactivity 40 min after exposure to the stressor. In contrast, gay/bisexual men displayed lower overall cortisol concentrations throughout testing compared with heterosexual men. Main findings were significant while adjusting for sex hormones (estradiol-to-progesterone ratio in women and testosterone in men), age, self-esteem, and disclosure status (whether LGB participants had completed their “coming out”).

Conclusions: Our results provide novel evidence for gender-based modulation of cortisol stress reactivity based on sexual orientation that goes beyond well-established between-sex differences. This study raises several important avenues for future research related to the physiologic functioning of LGB populations and gender diversity more broadly. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.08.013

Kleiman, S., Spanierman, L. B., & Smith, N. G. (2015). Translating oppression: Understanding how sexual minority status is associated with White men’s racial attitudes. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 16, 404-415. doi:10.1037/a0038797

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ABSTRACT

The present study comprised 3 interrelated purposes. First, the authors examined differences between White heterosexual (n = 97) and sexual minority (e.g., gay, bisexual, and queer; n = 83) men on various racial attitudes and empathy. Second, they examined whether highlighting oppressed identity status with an experimental prime could influence racial empathy. Third, the authors investigated whether sexual orientation disclosure and experiences with heterosexist discrimination among sexual minority men were associated with racial attitudes directly and indirectly through racial empathy. Key findings included: (a) sexual minority participants demonstrated more positive racial attitudes and empathy than heterosexual men; (b) there was no effect of prime on racial empathy; and (c) sexual orientation disclosure and experiences with heterosexism were associated significantly with positive racial attitudes indirectly through racial empathy. Implications for diversity education and future research directions are discussed.

MacKinnon, C. J., Smith, N. G., Henry, M., Milman, E., Chochinov, H. M., Körner, A., Berish, M., Farrace, A. J., Liarikos, N., & Cohen, S. R. (2015). Reconstructing meaning with others in loss: A feasibility pilot randomized controlled trial of a bereavement group. Death Studies, 39, 411-421. doi:10.1080/07481187.2014.958628

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ABSTRACT

More effective psychosocial interventions that target uncomplicated bereavement are needed for those actively seeking support. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of evaluating a unique meaning-based group counseling (MBGC) intervention with a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design. Twenty-six bereft individuals were randomly assigned to either MBGC or a control bereavement support group. Twenty participants (11 experimental, nine control) completed all aspects of the study including self-report measures at baseline, postintervention, and 3-month follow-up of meaning in life, anxiety, depression, and grief. Results support the feasibility of an RCT with MBGC.

Moody, C., Fuks, N., Pelaez, S., & Smith, N. G. (2015). “Without this, I would for sure already be dead”: A qualitative inquiry regarding suicide protective factors among trans adults. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2, 266-280. doi:10.1037/sgd0000130

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ABSTRACT

Despite an alarmingly high rate of attempted suicide among trans adults, few studies have investigated suicide protective factors among this population. The current study was aimed at identifying suicide protective factors among trans adults using a qualitative methodology. A sample of self-identified trans adults (N = 133) was recruited from LGBT LISTSERVs across Canada. Participant were predominantly White and ranged in age from 18 to 75 years old (M = 37). Qualitative data were collected online via open-ended questions and analyzed using thematic network analysis. A hybrid inductive– deductive coding framework was created by combining published suicide protective factors and participants’ responses. Five organizing themes were identified, namely social support, gender identity-related factors, transition-related factors, individual difference factors, and reasons for living. Results provide important insights for suicide prevention workers and mental/medical health professionals who work to promote the health and well-being of trans clients and their families. Clinical implications are discussed, such as the importance of aiding trans clients who seek transition-related care to gain access to care in a timely manner.

Smith, N. G., Hart, T. A., Moody, C., Willis, A. C., Andersen, M. A., Blais, M., & Adam, B. (2015). Project PRIDE: A cognitive-behavioral group intervention to reduce HIV risk behaviors among young gay and bisexual men. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. Advance online publication. doi:10.1016/j.cbpra.2015.08.006

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ABSTRACT

Young gay and bisexual men are at increased risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Research suggests that the stress associated with being a stigmatized minority is related to negative mental health outcomes, substance use, and condomless sex. However, interventions aimed at reducing HIV risk behaviors in young gay and bisexual men have failed to address these important variables. The purpose of the present paper is to assist cognitive and behavioral therapists who work with young gay and bisexual men to conduct therapy for stress management and HIV prevention. This paper provides an overview of the research on stress and coping among gay and bisexual men and its relation with condomless sex among young gay and bisexual men. The treatment described here integrates minority stress theory (e.g., Meyer, 2003) and stress and coping theory (e.g., Lazarus, 2000) in a small group counseling framework that uses psychoeducation, cognitive reframing, and role plays to help young gay and bisexual men to manage stress, reduce substance use, and reduce condomless sex. The application of empirically supported theory and a combination of cognitive and behavioral techniques to reduce both psychological distress and HIV risk behavior for young gay and bisexual men is illustrated using three case examples. The present treatment may help therapists working with young HIV-negative gay and bisexual men who engage in condomless sex and who wish to remain HIV-negative by decreasing their HIV risk behavior.

Benson, F. J., Smith, N. G., & Flanagan, T. (2014). Easing the transition for queer student teachers from program to field: Implications for teacher education. Journal of Homosexuality, 61, 382-398. doi:10.1080/00918369.2013.842429

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ABSTRACT

Tensions exist between what some queer student teachers experience in the university setting, their lives in schools during field placements, and upon graduation. We describe a series of workshops designed for queer student teachers and their allies that were conducted prior to field placement. Participants revealed high degrees of satisfaction with the program and increased feelings of personal and professional self-efficacy. Participants reported high levels of experienced homophobia in their academic programs; as such, the workshops were a valuable “safe space.” These workshops appear to fill a significant gap for queer students and their allies in teacher preparation programs.

Carter, L. W., Mollen, D., & Smith, N. G. (2014). Locus of control, minority stress, and psychological distress among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 61, 169-175. doi:10.1037/a0034593

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ABSTRACT

Within the framework of minority stress theory, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals are conceptualized as members of a minority group defined by sexual orientation. Two of the component processes of minority stress hypothesized by Meyer (2003), internalized heterosexism and the experience of prejudice events, were examined in the current study. Both internalized heterosexism and the experience of prejudice events have been associated with increased psychological distress in LGB populations. Researchers have also observed a relationship between external locus of control and increased psychological distress in general population samples. The current study explored whether locus of control served as a moderator in the relationship between the overall psychological distress of LGB individuals and both internalized heterosexism and the experience of workplace-based prejudice events (n = 165). Results indicated that locus of control served as a moderator in the relationship between experience of workplace-based prejudice events and overall psychological distress but not for the relationship between internalized heterosexism and distress.

MacKinnon, C. J., Smith, N. G., Henry, M., Milman, E., Berish, M., Körner, A., Copeland, L. S., Chochinov, H. M., & Cohen, S. R. (2014). Meaning-based group counseling for bereavement: Bridging theory with emerging trends in intervention research. Death Studies, 38, 137-144. doi:10.1080/07481187.2012.738768

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ABSTRACT

A growing body of scholarship has evaluated the usefulness of meaning-based theories in the context of bereavement counseling. Although scholars have discussed the application of meaning-based theories for individual practice, there is a lack of inquiry regarding its implications when conducting bereavement support groups. The objective of this article is to bridge meaning-based theories with bereavement group practice, leading to a novel intervention and laying the foundation for future efficacy studies. Building on recommendations specified in the literature, this article outlines the theoretical paradigms and structure of a short-term meaning-based group counseling intervention for uncomplicated bereavement.

MacKinnon, C. J., Smith, N. G., Henry, M., Milman, E., Chochinov, H. M., Körner, A., Berish, M., Farrace, A., Liarikos, N., & Cohen, S. R. (2014). New directions in group counselling for bereavement: Results of a meaning-based pilot randomized controlled trial. The Canadian Virtual Hospice Exchange.

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ABSTRACT

What we did: Palliative care does not end at the moment of death, and international guidelines recommend that bereavement support be offered to bereft families and friends (Hudson et al., 2012). Consistent with these guidelines, our clinical research team conducted a literature review, and subsequently developed and conducted a series of feasibility tests of a novel Meaning-Based Group Counselling (MBGC) intervention for adults following an uncomplicated bereavement trajectory. An uncomplicated grief trajectory is defined using the framework of Shear et al. (2011) including common symptoms of bereavement (e.g., yearning, deep sadness, somatic distress, etc.); overall these symptoms do not impair daily functioning. Our research was conducted in three stages: initial design using best available evidence, a feasibility test, and a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT). Our goal was to lay the ground work for possible future large scale studies that could test the efficacy of Meaning-Based Group Counselling.

Why we did this: The clinical profile of individuals with uncomplicated bereavement includes varying levels of physical and psychological distress that do not severely impair social, occupational, and daily functioning (Shear et al., 2011), but nevertheless are distressing enough for some to seek services. Studies of the effectiveness of past psychosocial interventions targeting uncomplicated grief show a negligible effect (Currier, Neimeyer, & Berman, 2008). However, these past studies have been critiqued for design flaws (Larson, & Hoyt, 2007), making any definitive conclusions about effectiveness premature. Our appraisal of the scholarship suggests an important step for future research is a need for theoretically-based uncomplicated bereavement interventions for individuals actively seeking support, underpinned by sound methodology (Schut & Stroebe, 2005). We chose to focus the intervention on the meaning-making paradigm (MacKinnon et al., 2013a), a contemporary theory of bereavement adaptation that is garnering increased empirical attention (Park, 2010).

How we did it and what were our results: Our research team developed a novel Meaning-Based Group Counselling (MBGC) intervention for adults in uncomplicated bereavement (reported in MacKinnon et al., 2013b). In constructing MBGC, we carefully attended to the previous scholarly literature on bereavement. We also integrated several recent theories of bereavement and group psychotherapy, as well as aspects of recent meaning-focused psychosocial interventions developed for cancer patients. MBGC took place weekly over 3 months and was comprised of explicit tasks and themes of meaning making. It was facilitated by two licensed mental health professionals (e.g., psychologists). See Table 1 below for a description of tasks and themes of this group counselling intervention.

Paul, R., Smith, N. G., Mohr, J. J., & Ross, L. E. (2014). Measuring dimensions of bisexual identity: Initial development of the Bisexual Identity Inventory. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1, 452-460. doi:10.1037/sgd0000069

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ABSTRACT

The authors describe the initial development of the Bisexual Identity Inventory (BII). A review of the extant bisexuality literature led to the development of 46 preliminary items assessing facets of bisexual identity that were administered to a total of 422 self-identified bisexual participants. Results from exploratory factor analysis of data from a random subsample of participants revealed 4 factors: Illegitimacy of Bisexual Identity, Anticipated Binegativity, Internalized Binegativity, and Identity Affirmation, with internal consistency reliability estimates ranging from .73 to .93. Confirmatory factor analysis of data from a separate subsample suggested the proposed factor structure offered a good fit to the observed data. Illegitimacy, Anticipated Binegativity, and Internalized Binegativity were positively associated with depression and negatively associated with outness, whereas Identity Affirmation was unrelated to depression but positively associated with outness. Overall, the present study provides preliminary evidence supporting the use of the BII as a measure of facets of bisexual identity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

Juster, R. P., Smith, N. G., Ouellet, E., Sindi, S., & Lupien, S. J. (2013). Sexual orientation and disclosure in relation to psychiatric symptoms, diurnal cortisol, and allostatic load. Psychosomatic Medicine, 75, 103-116.

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ABSTRACT

Objectives. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals—particularly those who have not disclosed their sexual orientation—are believed to experience increased chronic stress in comparison with heterosexuals. This interdisciplinary study assessed whether psychiatric symptoms (self-rated anxiety, depression, and burnout), stress hormone profiles (diurnal cortisol), and physiological dysregulations (allostatic load [AL]) would differ for a) LGBs versus heterosexuals and b) disclosed LGBs versus nondisclosed LGBs.

Methods. The study included 87 healthy participants (mean [SD] age = 24.6 [0.6] years; LGB n = 46, 43% women; and heterosexual n = 41, 49% women). Diurnal cortisol sampled at five time points was averaged for 2 days. AL indices were based on an algorithm incorporating 21 biomarkers representing neuroendocrine, immune/inflammatory, metabolic, and cardiovascular functioning. Psychological measures were assessed with well-validated questionnaires.

Results. Between-group results revealed no significant differences in symptoms of anxiety and burnout, nor among diurnal cortisol levels between sexual orientations. By contrast, gay/bisexual men unexpectedly had lower depressive symptoms (p = .003) and AL levels (p = .043) compared with heterosexual men. Within-group results revealed that disclosed LGBs had fewer psychiatric symptoms (p values < 0.01) and lower cortisol levels +30 minutes upon awakening (p = .004) compared with nondisclosed LGBs. Disclosure was not significantly related to AL levels.

Conclusions. LGBs did not manifest more stress-related problems than did heterosexuals. Life transitions like disclosing to one’s family and friends may be protective against psychopathologies and hyperactive cortisol awakening responses. Our novel findings underline the roles disclosure processes have on positive health and well-being for sexual minorities. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3182826881


MacKinnon, C. J., Milman, E., Smith, N. G., Henry, M., Berish, M., Copeland, L. S., Körner, A., Chochinov, H. M., & Cohen, S. R. (2013). Means to meaning in cancer-related bereavement: Identifying clinical implications for counseling psychologists. The Counseling Psychologist, 41, 216-239. [read more]

ABSTRACT

The search for meaning in bereavement is a topic of increasing scholarly interest. Nonetheless, literature has not yet appeared that examines the intersections of diverse theories of meaning, corresponding empirical findings, and clinical implications for counseling psychologists engaged in cancer-related bereavement psychotherapy. Meaning theories drawn from several domains of scholarship including existential, spirituality, stress, and bereavement are surveyed followed by a review of related empirical trends in the scholarship. A hypothetical case vignette is then presented to highlight potential strategies for counseling psychologists to integrate a broadened meaning-based approach to bereavement psychotherapy related to the loss of a loved one from cancer. The article concludes by identifying limitations of a meaning-based approach, as well as directions for further research.
doi: 10.1177/0011000012459969


Moody, C., & Smith, N. G. (2013). Suicide protective factors among trans adults. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42, 739-752. [read more]

ABSTRACT

A recent study indicated a suicide attempt rate of 41 % among trans (e.g., trans, transgender, transexual/transsexual, genderqueer, two-spirit) individuals. Although this rate is alarming, there is a dearth of literature regarding suicide prevention for trans individuals. A vital step in developing suicide prevention models is the identification of protective factors. It was hypothesized that social support from friends, social support from family, optimism, reasons for living, and suicide resilience, which are known to protect cis (non-trans) individuals, also protect trans individuals. A sample of self-identified trans Canadian adults (N = 133) was recruited from LGBT and trans LISTSERVs. Data were collected online using a secure survey platform. A three block hierarchical multiple regression model was used to predict suicidal behavior from protective factors. Social support from friends, social support from family, and optimism significantly and negatively predicted 33 % of variance in participants’ suicidal behavior after controlling for age. Reasons for living and suicide resilience accounted for an additional 19 % of the variance in participants’ suicidal behavior after controlling for age, social support from friends, social support from family, and optimism. Of the factors mentioned above, perceived social support from family, one of three suicide resilience factors (emotional stability), and one of six reasons for living (child-related concerns) significantly and negatively predicted participants’ suicidal behavior. Overall, these findings can be used to inform the practices of mental health workers, medical doctors, and suicide prevention workers working with trans clients. doi: 10.1007/s10508-013-0099-8


Sornberger, M. J., Smith, N. G., Toste, J. R., & Heath, N. L. (2013). Nonsuicidal self-injury, coping strategies, and sexual orientation. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69, 571-583.[read more]

ABSTRACT

Objectives. The current study sought to investigate the relationship between sexual orientation and nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). This study also includes an examination of coping styles, both maladaptive and adaptive, based on sexual orientation. Method. Participants included 207 young adults who identified as lesbian/gay, bisexual, or questioning (50.2% female) and a heterosexual comparison group.

Results. A hierarchical logistic regression showed that bisexual and questioning individuals were more likely to report having engaged in NSSI in their lifetime. A chi-square yielded no difference between groups on frequency of NSSI. Multivariate analyses of variance examining maladaptive and adaptive coping strategies demonstrated that bisexual and questioning individuals reported greater use of maladaptive strategies than the heterosexual group; however, there was little difference between groups on adaptive coping.

Conclusions. The relationship between sexual orientation and coping appears to be a complex one, suggesting that bisexual and questioning individuals attempt to use a wide range of coping mechanisms, possibly due to increased stress. doi: 10.1002/jclp.21947


Long, S., Mollen, D., & Smith, N. G. (2012). College women’s attitudes toward sex workers. Sex Roles, 66, 117-127. [read more]

ABSTRACT

A growing number of women are entering the sex industry as a means of funding their education (Reilly 2008). Many people view sex workers in stereotyped ways, and may discriminate and oppress women who work in the sex industry (Wolffers and van Beelen 2003). This investigation assessed attitudes toward sex work. Two hundred sixty-six women from a primarily woman’s university located in the Southwestern region of the U.S. completed selected items from the Attitudes Toward Prostitution Scale, Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, and Hostility Toward Women Scale. Results indicated that participants who knew a sex worker had less stereotypical attitudes toward sex workers. However, participants with higher levels of social desirability and hostility toward women had more stereotypical attitudes toward sex workers. doi: 10.1007/s11199-011-0088-0


Mollen, D., Smith, N. G., Levy, J. J., & Magyar-Moe, J. L. (2012). Privilege and belonging: The quest to make the Society of Counseling Psychology more welcoming. The Counseling Psychologist, 40, 856-867. [read more]

ABSTRACT

In this rejoinder, we advance the dialogue stimulated by our major contribution (Smith et al., 2012) in which we present the findings from a survey of early career professionals (ECPs) in Division 17, the Society of Counseling Psychology. We respond to the reactants’ concerns and observations using the lenses of privilege and belonging to guide our response. Building from the premise that the Society needs to continue to create and sustain efforts to attract and retain burgeoning counseling psychologists—including faculty members, practitioners, and those whose careers have combined or unique foci—we offer additional suggestions toward meeting the goal of expanding the richness of membership to include a wide array of those who identify with the premises of the Society and the specialty of counseling psychology. The importance of mentoring for advanced students and ECPs with an array of career trajectories is particularly emphasized. doi: 10.1177/0011000012443857


Smith, N. G., Keller, B., Mollen, D., Bledsoe, M., Buhin, L., Edwards, L. M., Levy, J. J., Magyar-Moe, J. L., & Yakushko, O. (2012). Voices of early career psychologists in Division 17, the Society of Counseling Psychology. The Counseling Psychologist, 40, 794-825.[read more]

ABSTRACT

This article reports on a survey of early career members of the Society of Counseling Psychology (SCP). Seventy early career psychologists completed a survey assessing the usefulness and climate of SCP, barriers to and facilitative factors for involvement in SCP, inclusiveness of SCP regarding cultural diversity and professional interests, degree of involvement in various aspects of SCP, and their areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction with SCP membership. In general, participants were split on the degree to which they were satisfied with SCP, with participants in faculty positions reporting significantly more positive views of SCP than their practitioner counterparts did. Faculty members viewed SCP as more useful to their careers and reported more positive social interactions within SCP than did non–faculty members. Open-ended responses suggested that satisfaction with SCP was related to availability of mentorship and opportunities for involvement in SCP. Suggestions for engaging new professionals in SCP are offered. doi: 10.1177/0011000011417145


MacKinnon, C. J., Bhatia, M., Sunderani, S., Affleck, W., & Smith, N. G. (2011). Opening the dialogue: Implications of feminist supervision theory with male supervisees. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 42, 130-136.[read more]

ABSTRACT

There is a lack of scholarship examining the implications of feminist-informed theories of clinical supervision to guide practice with male supervisees. A critical discussion is needed to better understand the intersections of feminist supervision theory and masculine psychology lest ineffective supervisory interventions occur. The present article begins with a critical review of the intersections of male psychological theory and feminist supervision theory. A hypothetical case vignette is then presented to highlight a number of potential implications for supervisors working with male supervisees informed by feminist supervision theory. The article concludes with directions for future training and research, as well as limitations of the arguments presented. doi: 10.1037/a0022232


Russell, G. M., Bohan, J. S., McCarroll, M. C., & Smith, N. G. (2011). Trauma, recovery, and community: Perspectives on the long-term impact of anti-LGBT politics. Traumatology, 17, 14-23.[read more]

ABSTRACT

Research conducted since the early 1990s has suggested that elections designed to delimit the rights of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals carry the potential for significant negative psychological consequences. Research has also suggested that some LGB people use these elections as opportunities for positive individual and social change. Virtually all of the research on the psychological impact of anti-LGB elections has focused on the immediate aftermath of these political events. This article reports results from a qualitative study designed to explore community members’ perceptions of the longer term impact of the full cycle of Colorado’s Amendment 2, including the campaign, election, and judicial reversal. The results from interviews with a purposive sample of LGB and heterosexual informants offer commentaries on the enduring impact of Amendment 2 at the levels of individuals, the LGBT community, and the broader community. doi: 10.1177/1534765610362799


Smith, N. G. (2010). Productivity in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender scholarship in counseling psychology: Institutional and individual ratings for 1990 through 2008. The Counseling Psychologist, 38, 50-68. [read more]

ABSTRACT

This study examined individual and institutional productivity in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) scholarship published in counseling psychology—oriented journals for the years 1990 through 2008. Eight journals were included in the analyses. An author-weighted score was calculated for each scholar, using a formula developed by Howard, Cole, and Maxwell. To determine the impact of authors’ work, h indices were calculated for the most productive scholars. Finally, institutions publishing LGBT scholarship were proportionally ranked, consistent with the work of Tinsley and Tinsley. Twenty-nine authors and 13 institutions emerged as leaders in LGBT scholarship. Data on percentage of articles published in each journal, as well as trends over time, are presented. Implications and directions for future research are discussed. doi: 10.1177/0011000009345533


Vinson, C., Mollen, D., & Smith, N. G. (2010). Perceptions of childfree women: The role of perceivers’ and targets’ ethnicity. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 20, 426-432.[read more]

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of ethnicity on perceptions of voluntary childfree women. We were interested in determining whether mothers were viewed as more stereotypically positive than women without children and how the ethnicity of the participant and the target impacted participants' ratings. We utilized vignettes and manipulated motherhood status and ethnicity of the target. Participants (n = 224) were comprised of female university students in the southwestern region of the United States. Results indicated that women view childfree women negatively. Moreover, women view African American mothers more favourably than childfree African American women. Results are discussed in terms of gender roles in communities of colour. doi: 10.1002/casp.1049


Vosvick, M., Martin, L., Smith, N. G., & Jenkins, S. R. (2010). Gender differences in HIV-related coping and depression. AIDS and Behavior, 14, 390-400.[read more]

ABSTRACT

Our study examined differences in HIV-related coping in relation to depression in men and women. Ethnically diverse participants (n = 247, 46% women) were recruited in Dallas/Fort Worth and completed medical and demographic information, the Coping with HIV Scale (CHIV), and the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale (CES-D). Multiple regression analyses revealed that in men, depression was associated with symptoms, higher use of distraction, blame, expression and lower use of positive growth. In women, depression was associated with symptoms and higher use of blame. These results shed light on the ways in which each gender copes with HIV and may help researchers develop interventions tailored to the needs of the HIV-positive population. doi: 10.1007/s10461-008-9490-1


Smith, N. G., Tarakeshwar, N., Hansen, N. B., Kochman, A., & Sikkema, K. J. (2009). Coping mediates outcome following a randomized group intervention for HIV-positive bereaved individuals. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65, 319-335.[read more]

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to examine the mechanisms responsible for the beneficial psychological effects of a coping-focused group intervention for HIV-positive individuals who had lost loved ones to AIDS. Data from 235 HIV-positive men and women enrolled in a randomized controlled clinical trial testing a coping-focused group intervention were analyzed using a multiple-indicator-multiple-cause (MIMIC) structural equation model. Results revealed that the effects of the intervention on decreases in depression and grief were mediated by decreases in avoidant coping. Specifically, participants in the intervention condition decreased their use of avoidant coping. Decreases in avoidant coping, in turn, were related to decreased depression and grief. The results of this study help to validate the use of coping-focused interventions for HIV-positive bereaved individuals. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20547

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