Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Program/Concentration

Health Psychology

Committee Director

Michelle L. Kelley

Committee Member

Robin J. Lewis

Committee Member

Abby L. Braitman

Committee Member

Shana L. Pribesh

Abstract

Bisexual women are at far greater risk for alcohol use, alcohol-related negative consequences, and alcohol use disorder than heterosexual or lesbian women. However, research on sexual minority women often combines lesbian and bisexual women into a single group. One possible explanation for the increased alcohol use and associated consequences among bisexual women relates to their experiences of discrimination or microaggressions that are daily insults and comments, intentional or unintentional, about their sexuality from both the heterosexual and sexual minority communities. Thus, it is possible that bisexual women drink to cope with microaggressions. Specifically, bisexual women may drink more and have more alcohol consequences on days when they experience more microaggressions. There may also be individual differences that influence the association between microaggressions and alcohol use and alcohol-related negative consequences. Behavioral economic theory has been applied to examine alcohol demand, which in turn has been shown to be associated with drinking. Therefore, the current study incorporated an Alcohol Purchase Task (APT) to examine alcohol demand indices as a factor that potentially strengthens the relationship between microaggressions and drinking among bisexual women. The current study had two goals: (1) to examine the associations between drinking to cope motives, daily microaggressions, and same-day alcohol use and alcohol-related negative consequences among bisexual women, and (2) to examine if alcohol demand indices moderate the association between daily microaggressions and same-day alcohol use and alcohol-related negative consequences among bisexual women. A total of 103 emerging adult bisexual women completed a baseline and 28-day daily diary survey. Results indicated that daily microaggressions were associated with same day alcohol use and consequences. Although drinking to cope motivations did not moderate this association, several alcohol demand indices (intensity and breakpoint) moderated the association between microaggressions and same-day alcohol use and/or consequences. Specifically, the association between daily microaggressions and same day alcohol consequences was strongest for those with higher intensity. Also, daily microaggressions were associated with same day alcohol use and consequences for those with lower breakpoint values, but not higher breakpoint values. Results suggest that microaggressions may be one reason for the high rates of drinking among bisexual women. Clinicians should encourage clients who report microaggression experiences to engage in positive coping skills that do not involve alcohol use, and could incorporate an alcohol purchase task into their intake information. In addition, at a larger level, public health campaigns can be implemented to raise awareness about microaggressions and policies can be enacted to discourage microaggressions.

DOI

10.25777/kp5e-5539

ISBN

9798678107350

ORCID

0000-0001-7288-2418

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