Date of Award

1-6-2017

Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

John L. Peterson

Second Advisor

Christopher Henrich

Third Advisor

Dominic Parrott

Fourth Advisor

Kevin Swartout

Abstract

Despite ongoing changes in the national sociopolitical landscape, negative attitudes toward non-heterosexuals continue to permeate throughout our society. Not only is sexual prejudice still prevalent, but experiencing it can have severe and far-reaching effects on LGBT individuals’ mental and physical health. Additionally, previous research has consistently found sexual prejudice to be a predictor of aggression directed toward sexual minorities. In fact, the recurrence and consistency of this finding has motivated researchers to suggest the development of intervention programming for the reduction of sexual prejudice. One major prospect for intervention involves interpersonal contact with sexual minorities. Evidence in favor of the contact hypothesis has been found with a wide variety of target minority groups, including sexual minorities. However, a review of the literature in this area reveals a significant measurement gap. Overall, most studies across all areas of contact research have neglected to follow the proper procedures necessary for the development and refinement of measures. This study sought to address this gap by validating a more robust psychometric measure of intergroup contact with sexual minorities developed by Daboin and Peterson (2012). Since this measure was previously constructed, this validation study relied on secondary data analyses. To achieve the purpose of this study, a series of analyses were conducted including exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and path analysis, as well as reliability and validity analyses. Results indicated that the CSMQ has an underlying structure of three factors: “Quantity of Casual Contact and Contact with Male Sexual Minorities,” “Quantity of Intimate Contact and Contact with Female Sexual Minorities,” and “Overall Perceived Quality of Contact with Sexual Minorities.” These three factors are significantly correlated with one another and negatively correlated with both negative attitudes toward gay men and lesbians. Additionally, results showed that the revised CSMQ and its resulting subscales have excellent internal consistency, and provided supporting evidence for their convergent, discriminant, and criterion-related validity.

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