Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Silvia von Kluge, PhD, Committee Chair
Norman Gordon, PhD
Stephen Jefferson, PhD
Amy Young, PhD
Covering, a construct that has been absent from the empirical psychological literature, is the pressure to or act of downplaying characteristics associated with a stigmatized identity (Goffman, 1963). This research investigated the covering demand in lesbian-identified women drawing on four related literatures: acculturation, discrimination, stigma, and self-concealment. The objectives of this research were to examine the impact of structural, legal covering demands on psychological domains and develop a grounded understanding of these demands in lesbian women. A mixed-method approach was utilized. Forty-six lesbian-identified women recruited from community venues participated in the quasi-experiment and focus groups, and five also engaged in follow-up in depth interviews. The results showed that the covering demand affects emotional reactions in these lesbian women and that they adopt multiple strategies for coping with these demands in everyday life. These findings provide initial support for the conceptualization of the covering demand as a potential everyday, minority stressor.
Grey, Melissa J., "Assimilative Demands: The Psychological Impact of Legal Decisions on Lesbians’ Lives" (2009). Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations. 505.