Doctor of Philosophy
Date of Defense
In the last decade, there has been an interest in exploring affirming identity factors for bisexual+ (bisexual, pansexual, queer, fluid, etc.) individuals that would promote positive mental wellbeing. However, there is a dearth in the current research that focuses on bisexual+ women of color and affirming factors unique to their intersecting racial/ethnic, sexual, and gender identities. By understanding what potential affirming factors, including bisexual microaffirmations, protect bisexual+ women of color from binegativity (bisexual specific discrimination), mental health professionals can provide and advocate for bisexual+ specific affirming care. This dissertation contains three studies: the first study explores how the experiences of binegativity and positive experiences of bisexuality predict social appearance anxiety (social anxiety around one’s appearance) for bisexual+ women of color; the second study explores how the experiences of binegativity and racial/ethnic experiences predict social appearance anxiety for bisexual+ women of color; and the third study explores the psychometric properties of the Bisexual Microaffirmation Scale: For Women (BMSFW) when used with a sample of bisexual+ women of color. Findings for the first study suggest that bisexual+ collective self-esteem is a protective factor for bisexual+ women of color when considering the relationship between bisexual microaggressions and social appearance anxiety. For the second study, findings suggest that racial/ethnic collective self-esteem is not a protective factor for bisexual+ women of color when considering the relationship between bisexual microaggressions and social appearance anxiety. Finally, findings from the third study suggested some convergent and discriminant validity of the BMSFW but also a different factor structure when used with this sample of bisexual+ women of color. Further findings, limitations, and implications for counselors, researchers, and other mental health professionals are also presented and discussed.
Paul, Zori, "Bisexual+ Women of Color and Microaffirmations" (2022). Dissertations. 1161.