Examining the associations between LGB-POC microaggressions and health using the intersectional vs. additive approach

The manifestation of discrimination has changed from overt to subtle forms, such as microaggressions-the conditions or communications that send negative messages to marginalized individuals and/or groups-yet the research on microaggressions remains limited and mostly qualitative. In addition, recent scholars have argued that intersectionality, the simultaneous examination of multiple social categorizations, is an important methodological approach to incorporate into scientific research. However, no research to date has directly compared intersectionality with the traditional way of examining social categories (i.e., the additive approach). In light of this, it becomes important to empirically examine microaggressions using intersectionality as a methodological approach. To address these gaps in the literature, an online survey was used to (a) develop an intersectional ethnic lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) microaggressions scale and (b) directly examine if the intersectional ethnic LGB microaggressions scale, rather than the ethnic/racial and LGB microaggressions scales together, is better at predicting anxiety and depression scores. Consistent with ethnic/racial and LGB microaggressions literature, 7 subscales emerged on the intersectional ethnic LGB microaggressions scale, including: (1) LGB community alien in own land, (2) negative treatment, (3) denial of experiences, (4) exoticization, (5) being pathologized, (6) gendered stereotypes, and (7) ethnic/racial community alien in own land. Additionally, the intersectional ethnic LGB microaggressions scale was found to better predict anxiety and depression scores than the ethnic/racial and LGB microaggressions scales together. These results support our hypotheses and suggest that intersectionality is a better methodological approach to measuring social identities.