Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Lorne Campbell


The present work sought to examine the perception of discrimination toward sexual and romantic minorities. In particular, microaggressions (subtle messages of hostility based on group membership) were examined as a potential factor in varying reports of discrimination frequency. Findings showed that both minority and majority group members agreed that the minority group experienced more discrimination in their day-to-day lives than did the majority group; the minority and majority groups also showed agreement regarding the frequency of this day-to-day discrimination. An indirect model of influence was found, in which frequency ratings of discrimination toward the minority group were impacted by frequency ratings of discrimination toward the self; frequency ratings of discrimination toward the self were predicted by sensitivity toward microaggressions, which in turn was predicted by minority vs. majority group status. These findings represent a first step in understanding the role of perception of microaggressions in the identification of discrimination.