Date of Award

Summer 2019

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

de St. Aubin, Ed

Second Advisor

Magnus, Brooke

Third Advisor

Torres, Lucas

Abstract

The existing literature highlights chronic and extensive psychological and physical health disparities between minority and majority individuals across a variety of identity dimensions including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and socio-economic class. Existing methods used to assess the minority identities associated with these health disparities are theoretically and statistically limited and often reinforce the oppressive mechanisms with which disparities are associated. While numerous researchers have identified these concerns, no quantitative assessment measure addressing them currently exists. To address this gap in the literature, researchers introduced the Scales of Contextualized Identity and perceived Marginalization (SCIM). The resulting measure assesses contextualized identity (i.e., one’s perceived similarity with socially privileged groups) and generates an overall identity score with eight subscales (i.e., race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic class, ability status, age group, and physical features). In this way, the SCIM allows researchers to ask more intersectional questions involving multiple identities and one’s perceived relationship to systems of privilege and marginalization across and within these identities. The current project explored the preliminary psychometric properties and construct and criterion validity of the SCIM and its subscales. Preliminary model fit, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability demonstrated the SCIM was generally psychometrically reliable and valid. Explorations of construct and criterion validity were explored using variables relevant to experiences of minority stress, a construct identified as a potential mechanism associated with health disparities. Results indicated the overall SCIM identity score generally demonstrated convergent content and concurrent criterion validity in the predicted directions. SCIM subscale scores also generally demonstrated preliminary convergent content and concurrent criterion validity. Unexpected findings regarding ethnic identity and the race/ethnicity subscale more specifically were discussed in the context of the current literature and U.S. racial and ethnic group dynamics. Future research is needed to finalize subscale item content and further explore and validate various aspects of the SCIM with more targeted measures and participant sampling. Importantly, measure validation of the SCIM will be necessarily ongoing as it attempts to capture complex social power dynamics across eight identity facets.

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