Date of Award
Master of Arts
The purpose of this study is to explore potential links between intersectional identities (race, sex, sexuality, and religion) and clinical outcomes such as symptoms of psychological distress and quality of life. Based on previous research, it was hypothesized that privileged identities (White, Male, Heterosexual, Christian) would relate to positive clinically relevant outcomes; it was predicted that more accumulated privileged identities would be associated with better outcomes. Data was analyzed from a self-report study from 2015; participants consist of Midwestern American undergraduate students enrolled in an introduction to psychology course (N = 779). SPSS analyses were performed in two steps. First, a MANOVA was performed with binary demographic variables as well as symptoms and quality of life. Second, a regression was performed with intersectionality as a continuous independent variable on a 0-4 scale, which was converted from demographic questionnaire scores, with the same dependent variables. Findings show some support for hypotheses. Main effects with both dependent variables were found for all independent variables except for race. No significant interactions were found at the two-way level; thus, no further interactions were analyzed. Lastly, increases in accumulated privileged identities were associated with lower psychological distress and higher quality of life. The results of this study have significant implications for culturally competent research and practice within the field of clinical psychology.
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