The effect of internalized homophobia and feminist identity on utilization of health services: A Canadian lesbian perspective.

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Bergeron, Sherry Marie.
University of Windsor
Psychology; Social.
thesis / dissertation description
Many lesbian women underutilize the health care system. In fact some theorists have suggested that: lesbians are shifting away from using traditional care toward using nontraditional care to meet their health needs. This study tested the effect of internalized homophobia (M) and feminist identification on health care utilization and on the use of nontraditional care. Questionnaires were completed by 156 Canadian lesbian women recruited through a snowball sampling technique and through specialized Canadian media (e.g., electronic listserves, lesbian/gay publications). Both IH and adherence to feminist ideology significantly predicted utilization of health services and use of nontraditional care (p < .01). Lower levels of IH and higher levels of feminism were associated with more frequent utilization of health services. However, perceived approachability of health care providers mediated the relationship between IH and utilization. Lower levels of IH and higher levels of feminism also significantly predicted more frequent use of nontraditional care. These findings suggest that a feminist identity fosters, and internalized homophobia impedes, optimal utilization of health services.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1999 .B47. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0607. Adviser: Charlene Senn. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1999.