College of Psychology: Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures

Title

Self Concealment and Social Anxiety in Gay Males and Lesbians

Event Location / Date(s)

Nassau, Bahamas / November 15-18, 2011

Document Type

Poster

Presentation Date

11-15-2011

Conference Name / Publication Title

First Caribbean Regional Conference of Psychology 2011

Description

Abstract When gay males and lesbians (GL) are in a stage of sexual identity concealment they self-monitor to avoid public exposure and stigma. This may create higher levels of social anxiety. We will identify how self-concealment impacts social anxiety in GLs compared to heterosexuals within a college population in the US. Abstract

Method: The incidence of elevated MMPI-2 scores was calculated for the normal population using Monte Carlo simulations. Correlations amongst scales from the restandardization sample were used to determine the percentage of the population with seemingly abnormal scores. Simulations were conducted for all scales combined, and for the Clinical, Harris–Lingoes, Content, Content Component, and Supplementary scales separately at varying t-score cutoffs. Results: 36.8% of normal adults are likely to obtain a score that would otherwise be considered clinically significant at 65T on one or more of the 10 Clinical scales. The normal incidence of at least one apparently abnormal score was 38.3% on the Content, 55.1% on the Supplementary, and 71.3% on the Harris–Lingoes scales. When all scale groups are interpreted together, at least five seemingly meaningful scores will be found for about a third of normal persons, and seven or more scales that appear to be clinically significant can be expected in 25% of perfectly normal individuals.

Conclusion: These results imply that interpretation of a large number of MMPI-2 scales should be conducted with caution, and that high t-scores may be necessary for an adequate level of confidence in the absence of corroborative test scores and extra test data.

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