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Concealable Stigmatized Identities and Psychological Well-Being

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Abstract

Many people have concealable stigmatized identities: Identities that can be hidden from others and that are socially devalued and negatively stereotyped. Understanding how these concealable stigmatized identities affect psychological well-being is critical. We present our model of the components of concealable stigmatized identities including valenced content– internalized stigma, experienced discrimination, anticipated stigma, disclosure reactions, and counter-stereotypic/positive information – and magnitude– centrality and salience. Research has shown that negatively valenced content is related to increased psychological distress. However, smaller identity magnitude may buffer this distress. We review the research available and discuss important areas for future work.

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