Developing a Culturally-Specific Internalized Stigma Scale for LGBTIQ+ Young Adults in Vietnam: A Mixed-Method Study


Literature lacks a theory-grounded psychometric measuring internalized stigma specific to LGBTIQ+ young adults in Vietnam. We conducted a mixed-method study in order to invent a culturally-specific theory of internalized stigma and develop a theory-driven measurement. Via the constructivist Grounded theory method, we conducted 15 semi-structured interviews, analyzed data, developed a conceptual theory of internalized stigma, and proposed an initial 35-item measurement. One expert panel and one community panel reviewed and suggested a revised 42-item scale. Then we piloted the revised scale on 59 participants via an online survey. Preliminary exploratory factor analysis (EFA) revealed satisfactory performance among only 26 items. Finally, we psychometrically tested the 26-item scale on 327 participants. Mental health outcomes such as depression (PHQ-9) or anxiety (GAD-7) were also assessed for convergent validity. We performed factor analysis and item trimming through EFA and assessed for model fitness through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Our Grounded Theory of internalized stigma consists of three key themes including emotion, cognition, and behavioral inclination, with strong socio-cultural manifestations and complex relationships between self and others (parents, family, and society). Through EFA, we performed item trimming and found our revised 19-item scale with high internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha of 0.91) but rather fit into a four-factor model. We revised our conceptual framework into 4 main themes. CFA confirmed our scale's goodness of fit(Standardized root mean squared residual = 0.05; Comparative fit index = 0.95). To date, this is the first validated internalized stigma scale to be developed for young LGBTIQ+ adults in Vietnam.

Author Information
Viet Trinh, Lighthouse Social Enterprise, Vietnam
Yu-Tien Hsu, Harvard University, United States
Linh Bui, Harvard University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2024
Stream: Qualitative/Quantitative Research in any other area of Psychology

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon