Self-Criticism, Sexual Minority Stress and Disordered Eating Behaviors
Heiman, Ellen R.
Minority stress theory recognizes the presence of added stress for individuals that belong to marginalized minority groups (Meyer, 2003). When considering the mental health of those who identify as sexual minorities, the role of internalized heterosexism (i.e. negative, self-hating thoughts attributed to a pervasive culture that stigmatizes non-heteronormativity) becomes crucial (Szymanski, 2008; Watson et al., 2016). We measured the relation between heterosexist discrimination as a measure of sexual minority stress and endorsement of disordered eating behaviors and cognitions in a sample of university students and then tested self-criticism as a moderator of this relation. Participants completed a battery of self-report instruments measuring self-criticism, heterosexism, and disordered eating behaviors and cognitions via an online platform. Main effects of self-criticism on specific DE outcomes were found, along with zero-order correlations between sexual minority stress, self-criticism, and DE outcomes.