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243890 Predictors of Forgiveness of Self in LGBT Adults: Coming out, guilt, and loneliness
Monday, October 31, 2011
Forgiveness of self, reframing from negative to neutral or positive (Thompson et al., 2005), is linked to mental health outcomes (Freeman & Enright, 1996). “Coming out,” the process of embracing for oneself and disclosing to others one's sexual orientation (Bohan, 1996), may reduce isolation and provide social support for dealing with stress (Lewis et al., 2006). Guilt in lgbt samples, the internalization of societal and cultural prejudice against gay and lesbian individuals, is “the most insidious” form of minority stress (Meyer & Dean, 1998). Loneliness, having low perceived social support, is a mediator of resilience with potential negative effects on an individual's health status (Fees et al., 1999). We hypothesized that lgbt participants with less guilt and less loneliness would report more forgiveness of self. Using the Revised Mosher Guilt Inventory, UCLA Loneliness scale and Heartland Forgiveness scale, we collected data from a stratified convenience sample of 186 lgbt participants (26% gay, 26% lesbian, 27% bisexual, 21% transgender), recruited from Dallas Fort-Worth.
A hierarchical linear regression analysis using “out-ness,” guilt and loneliness explained 33% of variance in forgiveness of self (Adjusted R2=.33, F(5,180)=19.5, p<.001). Specifically, those with less guilt (ß=-.35, t=-5.25, p<.001) and less loneliness (ß=-.32, t=-4.91, p<.001) also reported higher levels of forgiveness of self. Our “out-ness” variable (ß=.14, t=-2.31, p<.05), although less powerful, was a significant predictor of forgiveness of self. Our findings suggest that public health must consider “out-ness”, guilt and loneliness when addressing mental health issues of lgbt populations.
Learning Areas:Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Keywords: Counseling, Self-sufficiency and Empowerment
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the main author and I helped collect the data which I analyzed under the guise of Dr. Mark Vosvick and Dr. Chwee-Lye Chng.
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.