The psychological implications of concealing a stigma: A cognitive-affective-behavioral model

Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA.
Psychological Bulletin (Impact Factor: 14.39). 04/2007; 133(2):328-45. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.133.2.328
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Many assume that individuals with a hidden stigma escape the difficulties faced by individuals with a visible stigma. However, recent research has shown that individuals with a concealable stigma also face considerable stressors and psychological challenges. The ambiguity of social situations combined with the threat of potential discovery makes possessing a concealable stigma a difficult predicament for many individuals. The increasing amount of research on concealable stigmas necessitates a cohesive model for integrating relevant findings. This article offers a cognitive-affective-behavioral process model for understanding the psychological implications of concealing a stigma. It ends with discussion of potential points of intervention in the model as well as potential future routes for investigation of the model.

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Available from: John Pachankis, Mar 01, 2014
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    • "Thismay be particularly true in new and potentially threatening interpersonal social situations (Sylva, Rieger, Linsenmeier, & Bailey,2010). Such efforts (e.g., hypervigilance, self-monitoring, deception), however, have been shown to deplete cognitive control, negatively impact upon mood (Critcher & Ferguson, 2013; Pachankis, 2007) and may, ironically, increase intrusive reminders of threat (Wegner, 1992, 1994) and, as a result, levels of anxiety. Interestingly,gendernon-conformingbehaviorappearstoconfer risk for anxiety independent of sexual orientation. "
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    • "Further, Herek's (1996, 2007) model theorizes that felt stigma will motivate individuals to engage in behavioral strategies (e.g., coping processes) to avoid being targets of discrimination, supporting the hypothesized associations from expectations of rejection to the coping processes of anger rumination and self-compassion. On the basis of the indirect support from Pachankis's (2007) and Herek's (2007) models, it was hypothesized that the pattern of associations would be that perceived discrimination will lead to expectations of rejection, which will potentiate anger rumination and selfcompassion . In turn, these coping processes will be associated with psychological distress. "
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