Date of Award

8-1-2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Chwalisz, Kathleen

Abstract

The Social Class Worldview Model (SCWM; Liu, 2011) is a recent phenomenological framework, in which social class is understood based on experiences of acculturation, identity, and stress, as opposed to a narrow view of access to resources. Based on this model, people's experiences of social class discrimination (i.e., classism) are an integral part of how they make meaning of their social class. The current study addresses the development and initial validation of the Perceived Classism Questionnaire (PCQ), a scale of distress due to classist experiences. Items were initially created and refined based on a review of the available literature, expert analysis, and a pilot study. In Study 1, an Exploratory Factor Analysis was conducted on a sample of 309 participants, reveling three distinct factors: Downward Classism, Upward Classism, and Lateral Classism. In study 2, a Confirmatory Factor Analysis in a distinct sample of 274 participants provided further support for the three-factor structure of the PCQ. The three subscales were correlated in the expected directions with convergent and discriminant measures (i.e., subjective social status, self-rated health, stress, state and trait anxiety, life satisfaction, and well-being), supporting validity evidence of the PCQ. The Perceived Classism Questionnaire advances on previous scales of classism, as it is a theory-driven scale, and it is not restricted to academic environments. Research and practical implications of the PCQ are discussed.

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