Gender and Generational Differences in the Internalized Homophobia Questionnaire: An Alignment IRT Analysis

Robert E. Wickham, Renee Gutierrez, Brenna L. Giordano, Sharon S. Rostosky, Ellen D.B. Riggle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Internalized homophobia (IH) refers to negative attitudes and stereotypes that a lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) person may hold regarding their own sexual identity. Recent sociocultural changes in attitudes and policies affecting LGB people generally reflect broader acceptance of sexual minorities, and may influence the manner in which LGB people experience IH. These experiences should be reflected in the measurement properties of instruments designed to assess IH. This study utilized data from three different samples (N = 3,522) of LGB individuals residing in the United States to examine the invariance of a common self-report IH measure by gender identity (Female, Male) and age cohort (Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials). Multigroup item response theory–differential item functioning analysis using the alignment method revealed that 6 of the 9 Internalized Homophobia Scale items exhibited differential functioning across gender and generation. Latent scores based on the invariant items suggested that Male and Female Boomers exhibited the lowest level of latent IH, relative to the other cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1172
Number of pages14
JournalAssessment
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0132-6235 Wickham Robert E. 1 Gutierrez Renee 1 Giordano Brenna L. 1 Rostosky Sharon S. 2 Riggle Ellen D. B. 2 1 Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, CA, USA 2 University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA Robert E. Wickham, Department of Psychology, Palo Alto University, 1791 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA. Email: rwickham@paloaltou.edu 12 2019 1073191119893010 © The Author(s) 2019 2019 SAGE Publications Internalized homophobia (IH) refers to negative attitudes and stereotypes that a lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) person may hold regarding their own sexual identity. Recent sociocultural changes in attitudes and policies affecting LGB people generally reflect broader acceptance of sexual minorities, and may influence the manner in which LGB people experience IH. These experiences should be reflected in the measurement properties of instruments designed to assess IH. This study utilized data from three different samples ( N = 3,522) of LGB individuals residing in the United States to examine the invariance of a common self-report IH measure by gender identity (Female, Male) and age cohort (Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials). Multigroup item response theory–differential item functioning analysis using the alignment method revealed that 6 of the 9 Internalized Homophobia Scale items exhibited differential functioning across gender and generation. Latent scores based on the invariant items suggested that Male and Female Boomers exhibited the lowest level of latent IH, relative to the other cohorts. internalized homophobia minority stress measurement invariance differential item functioning gender generation edited-state corrected-proof typesetter ts1 We thank Robert Wickham, who was responsible for the development of the research question, introduction and discussion, and conducted the statistical analyses. A special thanks to Brenna Giordano and Renee Gutierrez, who were responsible for the data cleaning, preparation and reporting, and contributed to the literature review. We also thank Sharon Rostosky and Ellen Riggle, who designed and collected the studies that generated these data, and contributed to the literature review and discussion. Authors’ Note Although this study was not preregistered, the statistical output used in this article are stored on Open Science Framework ( https://osf.io/49txa/ ). Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Funding The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The data collected for Samples 2 and 3 was supported in part by a grant from the American Psychological Foundations’s Wayne F. Placek Award and the University of Kentucky’s Center for Drug and Alcohol Research. ORCID iD Robert E. Wickham https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0132-6235 Supplemental Material Supplemental material for this article is available online.

Funding Information:
We thank Robert Wickham, who was responsible for the development of the research question, introduction and discussion, and conducted the statistical analyses. A special thanks to Brenna Giordano and Renee Gutierrez, who were responsible for the data cleaning, preparation and reporting, and contributed to the literature review. We also thank Sharon Rostosky and Ellen Riggle, who designed and collected the studies that generated these data, and contributed to the literature review and discussion. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The data collected for Samples 2 and 3 was supported in part by a grant from the American Psychological Foundations?s Wayne F. Placek Award and the University of Kentucky?s Center for Drug and Alcohol Research.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

Keywords

  • differential item functioning
  • gender
  • generation
  • internalized homophobia
  • measurement invariance
  • minority stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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