Purdue University Graduate School
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Post-traumatic Growth in Sexual Minority Latinas: An Intersectional Exploration of Cumulative and Systemic Stress and Trauma Exposures

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posted on 2019-10-16, 18:24 authored by Erica S GarciaErica S Garcia
There is a limited amount of research that explores the potential growth and experiences of sexual minority Latinas (SMLs). Using an intersectionality informed framework, this study explored SMLs post-traumatic growth (PTG) process following systemic traumas/stressors such as heterosexism and racial/ethnic discrimination, and cumulative stressors and traumas. A survey with both qualitative and quantitative questions was administered to 171 participants. It was hypothesized that cumulative trauma, socio-demographic characteristics, outness, and family acceptance would be positively related to higher PTG, while heterosexism and the intersection of both heterosexism and racial/ethnic discrimination would be related to lower PTG. A hierarchical regression was used and found that the post-traumatic growth inventory (PTGI) was a valid measure for Latina/Chicana sexual minorities and that SMLs experienced above moderate levels of PTG. Religion, age, outness, and heterosexism was positively associated with higher self-reported PTG, while family rejection and the intersection of heterosexism and racial/ethnic discrimination lowered PTG. Three qualitative themes emerged providing insights on SMLs self-defined growth. Clinical implications for marriage and family therapists and areas for future research are discussed.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Child Development and Family Studies

Campus location

  • Hammond

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Anne Edwards

Additional Committee Member 2

Megan Murphy

Additional Committee Member 3

J. Maria Bermudez