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Title: Addressing an Elephant in the Room: Self-Disclosure and Social Support Following Negative Intergroup Experiences
Authors: Alegre, Jan Marie
Advisors: Shelton, Nicole
Contributors: Psychology Department
Keywords: Intergroup relations
Interpersonal interactions
Social support
Subjects: Social psychology
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This research examines self-disclosure and social support processes in response to negative intergroup experiences (i.e., experiences of racial or ethnic discrimination). Studies 1a, 1b, 1c, and 2 examine ethnic minorities’ disclosure preferences for seeking social support after recalling or imagining a negative interpersonal, ambiguous, or intergroup experience. Results indicate that ethnic minorities hold group-specific preferences for self-disclosure when faced with the opportunity to discuss negative intergroup experiences with others. Specifically, ethnic minorities exhibit greater desire for self-disclosing negative events to same-race friends, particularly when it comes to discussing negative intergroup experiences. This preference is in part explained by individuals’ expectations of receiving adequate emotional and instrumental support from others. Studies 3 and 4 utilize vignette- and laboratory-based procedures respectively to examine how Whites and ethnic minorities react to ethnic minority partners who privately disclose experiences of discrimination. Results indicate that contrary to what ethnic minority targets of discrimination might expect, White partners objectively provide more emotional and instrumental support than their ethnic minority counterparts. Moreover, ethnic minority support providers report more negative impressions of support seekers and appear to be less responsive towards their appeals for help. Study 5 examines the proximal impact of same-race and cross-race support provision on ethnic minorities’ intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intergroup outcomes. Findings suggest that ethnic minorities who received social support after disclosing intergroup rejection generally felt more understood, accepted, and cared for than others; this was particularly the case after receiving support from cross-race friends. Cross-race support also facilitated interpersonal liking and appeared to attenuate ethnic minority participants’ race stigma consciousness after experiencing intergroup rejection. The implications of this work for understanding processes of intergroup dialogue and cross-race social support are discussed.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Psychology

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