Reducing Stigma toward Sexual Minorities: Acceptance-Based versus Traditional Safe Zone Training.
Date of Award
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Homonegativity; Homosexuality--Psychological aspects
Homophobia continues to exist in society. Homonegative attitudes are often implicit and can be acquired without direct training, which makes them particularly resistant to change. Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is a behavior analytic account of learning processes and can explain these processes of indirect learning. RFT also suggests therapeutic processes for dismantling stigma using a therapy model named Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). This paper reviews previous research on traditional multicultural training, and addresses its shortcomings. Specifically, this paper makes the argument that traditional models encourage experiential avoidance and thus further perpetuate the processes that maintain stigma. While a handful of studies have examined stigma interventions using ACT, no ACT studies have been completed specifically on the stigma towards gay and lesbian individuals. This paper concludes with a research proposal for such a study.
Heermann, Matthew, "Reducing Stigma toward Sexual Minorities: Acceptance-Based versus Traditional Safe Zone Training." (2010). Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 131.