The Palliative Effects of System Justification on the Health and Happiness of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals

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Abstract

Across three studies, we examine the correlates of subjective well-being and mental and physical health among members of a historically disadvantaged group, namely, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. Results show those who minimize (vs. acknowledge) the extent to which their group is the target of discrimination report better well-being across myriad indicators (Studies 1-3). We also demonstrate that this effect is mediated by perceived system fairness (Study 1); holds above and beyond internalized homonegativity (Studies 1 and 3) and ingroup identification (Studies 2-3); and is true regardless of whether individuals reside in hostile or accepting environments (Study 2), and regardless of whether individuals had personally experienced discrimination (Study 3). For some indicators (namely, body mass index [BMI], social well-being, self-esteem, depression, and mental illness diagnosis), the relationship between minimization of discrimination and well-being was stronger among those who had frequent (vs. rare) discriminatory experiences.

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Suppes, A., Napier, J. L., & van der Toorn, J. (2019). The Palliative Effects of System Justification on the Health and Happiness of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45(3), 372–388. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167218785156

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