Adam W. Fingerhut

Loyola Marymount University, Los Ángeles, California, United States

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Publications (16)

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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: Healthcare stereotype threat is the threat of being personally reduced to group stereotypes that commonly operate within the healthcare domain, including stereotypes regarding unhealthy lifestyles and inferior intelligence. The objective of this study was to assess the extent to which people fear being judged in healthcare contexts on several characteristics, including race/ethnicity and age, and to test predictions that experience of such threats would be connected with poorer health and negative perceptions of health care. Methods: Data were collected as part of the 2012 Health and Retirement Study (HRS). A module on healthcare stereotype threat, designed by the research team, was administered to a random subset (n=2,048 of the total 20,555) of HRS participants. The final sample for the present healthcare stereotype threat experiment consists of 1,479 individuals. Logistic regression was used to test whether healthcare stereotype threat was associated with self-rated health, reported hypertension, and depressive symptoms, as well as with healthcare-related outcomes, including physician distrust, dissatisfaction with health care, and preventative care use. Results: Seventeen percent of respondents reported healthcare stereotype threat with respect to one or more aspects of their identities. As predicted, healthcare stereotype threat was associated with higher physician distrust and dissatisfaction with health care, poorer mental and physical health (i.e., self-rated health, hypertension, and depressive symptoms), and lower odds of receiving the influenza vaccine. Conclusions: The first of its kind, this study demonstrates that people can experience healthcare stereotype threat on the basis of various stigmatized aspects of social identity, and that these experiences can be linked with larger health and healthcare-related outcomes, thereby contributing to disparities among minority groups.
    Full-text Article · Oct 2015 · American journal of preventive medicine
  • Cleopatra M Abdou · Adam W Fingerhut
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The first of its kind, the present experiment applied stereotype threat-the threat of being judged by or confirming negative group-based stereotypes-to the health sciences. Black and White women (N = 162) engaged in a virtual health care situation. In the experimental condition, one's ethnic identity and negative stereotypes of Black women specifically were made salient. As predicted, Black women in the stereotype threat condition who were strongly identified as Black (in terms of having explored what their ethnic identity means to them and the role it plays in their lives) reported significantly greater anxiety while waiting to see the doctor in the virtual health care setting than all other women. It is hypothesized that stereotype threat experienced in health care settings is one overlooked social barrier contributing to disparities in health care utilization and broader health disparities among Black women. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Article · Jul 2014 · Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
  • Article · Jan 2014
  • Adam W. Fingerhut · Letitia Anne Peplau
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Researchers studying same-sex couples have become part of the ongoing public conversation about marriage equality. Two broad research topics have been center stage. First, policy makers and attorneys have turned to social science research to answer basic questions about the lives of lesbians and gay men. In particular, are the relationships of same-sex couples fundamentally similar to those of heterosexual men and women and are same-sex relationships influenced by the same dynamic processes as heterosexual couples? Second, what is the social and psychological impact of legalizing same-sex relationships and of the divisive public debates on this topic? This chapter reviews empirical research addressing these two broad topics.
    Article · Jan 2013
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This chapter describes the Psychology Early Awareness Program (PEAP) at Loyola Marymount University, a residential learning community centered within a discipline. We discuss the theory that supports the value of living‐learning communities, describe how this guided the development of PEAP, and summarize the benefits of this approach.
    Article · Dec 2012 · New Directions for Teaching and Learning
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite their prominence in civil rights movements, out-group allies have been understudied. The current research examined out-group alliance, focusing on predictors of heterosexuals' advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights. Heterosexuals who were recruited through an online panel of research participants completed a survey containing measures of empathy, out-group contact, gender, education, and attitudes toward gays and lesbians. Additionally, participants indicated whether they had engaged in several allied behaviors (e.g., donating money for LGBT causes). Women, educated individuals, and those with gay and lesbian friends were more likely to be allies. Additionally, alliance was greatest among individuals lower in prejudice and simultaneously higher in positivity toward gays and lesbians. Implications regarding intergroup relations and future research are discussed.
    Article · Sep 2011 · Journal of Applied Social Psychology
  • Natalya C. Maisel · Adam W. Fingerhut
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: When an anti-gay initiative is on the ballot, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals must contend not only with the tangible consequences if the initiative passes (e.g., a lack of rights) but also with the stress of the campaign itself. The current research examined the consequences of the campaign associated with California's Proposition 8 on LGB individuals’ well-being and personal relationships. LGB participants (N= 354) completed a survey in the 5 days before the 2008 election. In both quantitative results and open-ended responses, participants revealed much personal ambivalence. Participants reported experiencing both negative and positive emotions (e.g., anger, pride) and were particularly ambivalent regarding the effect of Proposition 8 on relationships with friends, family, coworkers, and their intimate partner. The campaign created opportunities for support but also opportunities for stigmatization and conflict. These results demonstrate the powerful effects that campaigns themselves, and not just outcomes, have on targeted individuals.
    Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Social Issues
  • Kimberly B. Kahn · Adam W. Fingerhut
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The relationship between essentialist thinking (e.g., belief in genetic or biological determinism) and prejudice has been inconsistent, at times yielding conflicting results for different target groups. In this article, we test whether essentialist beliefs regarding sexual orientation are differentially associated with sexual prejudice against gay men depending on whether these beliefs are assessed at a category level (e.g., beliefs about the biological bases of the category of sexual orientation) or a trait level (e.g., beliefs about the biological bases of stereotypical traits associated with sexual orientation). It is hypothesised that when genetic beliefs regarding the category are assessed, these beliefs should be associated with lower sexual prejudice. Conversely, when essentialist beliefs are examined on a trait level, increases in homophobia are predicted. Survey data from a sample of heterosexuals confirmed the hypotheses. Potential mediators, including the role of controllability, and implications for reducing sexual prejudice are discussed.
    Article · May 2011
  • Adam W Fingerhut · Ellen D B Riggle · Sharon Scales Rostosky · [...] · Aimee Van
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The political debates and policies related to the civil marriage rights of same-sex couples have psychological and social impacts on lesbian, gay, bisexual indi-viduals and same-sex couples and also on their families, friends, and communi-ties. The overarching goal of this issue was to significantly advance the previous sparse literature on these impacts. The result is an international, interdisciplinary, methodologically, and theoretically diverse collection of original empirical re-search articles that collectively address three broad questions: (1) What are the social and psychological effects of marriage amendment campaigns and policies? (2) How does civil marriage compare to other statuses for same-sex couples or marriage in other countries? (3) How do anti-gay initiatives affect heterosexual allies and intergroup relationships? Across the diverse approaches and popula-tions that comprise this volume, findings converge in demonstrating that the denial of civil marriage rights is a significant public health issue with important policy implications.]. The authors thank the members of the interdisciplinary working group on the psychological effects of anti-gay ballot initiatives: Wagenen. A special thanks to Elizabeth Gruskin for helping to create the working group and the special issue. We also thank The Bellarmine College at Loyola Marymount University and Loyola Marymount University for helping to fund the working group on which this special issue is based.
    Article · Jan 2011 · Journal of Social Issues
  • Source
    Negin Ghavami · Adam Fingerhut · Letitia A Peplau · [...] · Michele A Wittig
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: How is social identity related to psychological well-being among minority individuals? Drawing on developmental models of identity formation (e.g., Erikson, 1968) and on Social Identity Theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979), we tested a conceptual model examining links between two key aspects of social identity and psychological well-being. We proposed that the association between identity achievement (exploring and understanding the meaning of one's identity) and psychological well-being is mediated by identity affirmation (developing positive feelings and a sense of belonging to one's social group). Across three studies, including ethnic minority high school students (Study 1), ethnic minority college students (Study 2) and lesbian and gay male adults (Study 3), we found strong support for the model. Results suggest that the process of exploring and understanding one's minority identity can serve as an important basis for developing positive feelings toward and an enhanced sense of attachment to the group, which can in turn confer psychological benefits for minority individuals. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
    Full-text Article · Jan 2011 · Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
  • Adam W. Fingerhut · Natalya C. Maisel
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although legal recognition of same-sex relationships has received considerable attention in recent years, we know little about the effects of legal recognition (e.g., domestic partnership) and social recognition (e.g., a public ceremony) on same-sex couples. We conducted an Internet survey of 239 Californians in same-sex relationships, including a randomly selected subsample of individuals from the California Domestic Partnership Registry. Social recognition was associated with life satisfaction and relationship satisfaction, but was unrelated to relationship investments. Legal recognition was associated with investments, but was unrelated to life and relationship satisfaction. In addition, we found some support for the hypothesis that relationship formalization moderates links between gay-related stress (e.g., internalized homophobia) and individual and relationship outcomes.
    Article · Nov 2010 · Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
  • Adam W. Fingerhut · Letitia Anne Peplau · Shelly L. Gable
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to gay-related discrimination, perceived stigma or other stressors is associated with poorer mental health for gay and lesbian individuals. Yet not all gay men and lesbians experience the same levels or types of stressors, nor do they react the same in response to stress exposure. Using a sample of self-identified gay and lesbian individuals who completed an online survey, this research examined whether social identity, specifically a sense of belonging to the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) community, predicted both exposure and reactivity to gay-related stress. Results showed that those who were higher in gay identity reported significantly more discrimination but significantly less perceived stigma than those who were lower in gay identity. Although gay identity was not associated with reactivity to discrimination, it was associated with reactivity to perceived stigma. Those who were lower in gay identity reported significantly more depressive symptoms when they experienced high levels of perceived stigma than when they experienced low levels of perceived stigma. In contrast, those who were higher in gay identity were buffered against the negative consequences of perceived stigma; there were no differences in reported depression based on the experiences of perceived stigma. The theoretical and practical implications of these data are discussed.
    Article · Jun 2010 · Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality
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    Letitia Anne Peplau · Adam W Fingerhut
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article reviews empirical studies of same-sex couples in the United States, highlighting consistent findings, drawing comparisons to heterosexual couples, and noting gaps in available research. U.S. Census data indicate that there were more than 600,000 same-sex couples living together in 2000. Research about relationship formation, the division of household labor, power, satisfaction, sexuality, conflict, commitment, and relationship stability is presented. Next, we highlight three recent research topics: the legalization of same-sex relationships through civil unions and same-sex marriage, the experiences of same-sex couples raising children, and the impact of societal prejudice and discrimination on same-sex partners. We conclude with comments about the contributions of empirical research to debunking negative stereotypes of same-sex couples, testing the generalizability of theories about close relationships, informing our understanding of gender and close relationships, and providing a scientific basis for public policy.
    Full-text Article · Feb 2007 · Annual Review of Psychology
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    Adam W. Fingerhut · Letitia Anne Peplau
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Past research demonstrates that heterosexuals perceive gay men to have traditionally feminine characteristics. Guided by Social Role Theory (Eagly, 1987), we predicted that this stereotype would differ depending on a gay man’s specific social role. To test this idea, participants rated five gay targets (father, single man, hairdresser, truck driver, typical gay man) on stereotypically masculine (e.g., ambitious, leader) and feminine (e.g., affectionate, sensitive) personality attributes. Gay men in traditionally masculine roles (truck driver, single man) were rated as less feminine than gay men in traditionally feminine roles (hairdresser, parent). In addition, gay men in feminine roles were perceived as more similar to the typical gay man than were those in masculine roles. Suggestions for future research are discussed.
    Full-text Article · Dec 2006 · Sex Roles
  • Adam W. Fingerhut · Letitia Anne Peplau · Negin Ghavami
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The diverse life experiences of contemporary lesbians are shaped by women's differing ties to two social worlds, the majority heterosexual society and the minority subculture of the lesbian or sexual-minority world. This article presents a detailed conceptual analysis of a dual-identity framework that emphasizes lesbians' simultaneous affiliations with both lesbian and mainstream/heterosexual communities. The usefulness of this approach is discussed, with emphasis on implications for understanding individual differences in exposure to gay-related stress and mental health. Results from a survey of 116 lesbians showed that scores on measures of Lesbian Identity and Mainstream Identity were not significantly correlated with each other. Both lesbian and mainstream identities were significantly related to lesbians' reported experiences of discrimination, feelings of internalized homophobia, and life satisfaction. Limitations of the dual-identity framework and suggestions for future research are considered.
    Article · May 2005 · Psychology of Women Quarterly
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    Letitia Anne Peplau · Adam Fingerhut
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Common sense might suggest that lesbian workers are doubly disadvantaged due to their gender and their stigmatized sexual orientation. But empirical research documents that lesbian workers earn more than their heterosexual women peers. This article considers two reasons for the economic advantage of lesbian workers. First, because lesbians must provide for themselves and their children, they may pursue nontraditional, higher-paying jobs and show increased work motivation. Second, stereotypes may depict lesbians, including lesbian mothers, as competent and committed workers. A review of available research is augmented with data from a study of 162 college students. Results indicate that motherhood detracts from the perceived work commitment and competence of heterosexual mothers but not lesbian mothers. Directions for future research are considered.
    Full-text Article · Nov 2004 · Journal of Social Issues