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Coming-Out Growth: Conceptualizing and Measuring Stress-Related Growth Associated with Coming Out to Others as Gay or Lesbian
Vaughan, Michelle D., M.A.

2007, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Akron, Counseling Psychology.
Stress-related growth (SRG; experiences of self-reported growth associated with a stressor), has been widely studied in psychology (Park, 1998). This research has documented the frequency and validity of SRG, as well as the relationship between stressor characteristics and types/patterns of SRG (Tennen & Affleck, 1996). However, this literature has neglected SRG from non-traumatic events, despite evidence that identity development (e.g., Cass, 1996; Erikson, 1959; McCarn & Fassinger, 1996) is highly stressful and growth-enhancing. Within lesbian and gay (LG) identity development, coming out to others has been linked to growth (e.g., Oswald, 2000; Rhoads, 1995), although these experiences of coming out growth (COG) have not been studied systematically. The present study investigated the nature of experiences of COG in a sample of 418 out LG individuals. COG, as measured by the Coming Out Growth Scale (COGS), was found to have a two-dimensional structure. Individualistic Growth (IG) captured gains in authenticity, well-being, and personal identity, while Collectivistic Growth (CG), captured growth in LG social functioning, attitudes, and involvement. COGS scores related in expected ways to SRG constructs (general SRG, optimism, stress, social desirability) and LG identity constructs (outness, sexual experience, identity stage/phase). Unlike general SRG, levels of COG were similar for men and women. Results of this study support the assertion that coming out produces growth in a number of domains that are vital to both personality and identity growth. Strengths and limitations of the present study, as well as recommendations for future research regarding other predictors of COG, are also discussed.
Charles Waehler (Advisor)
303 p.

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Vaughan, M. (2007). Coming-Out Growth: Conceptualizing and Measuring Stress-Related Growth Associated with Coming Out to Others as Gay or Lesbian. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Vaughan, Michelle. "Coming-Out Growth: Conceptualizing and Measuring Stress-Related Growth Associated with Coming Out to Others as Gay or Lesbian." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Akron, 2007. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 21 Apr 2015.

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Vaughan, Michelle "Coming-Out Growth: Conceptualizing and Measuring Stress-Related Growth Associated with Coming Out to Others as Gay or Lesbian." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Akron, 2007. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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