Gender and Diversity and Counseling and Training: Publications


Wester, S. R., Vogel, D. L., O’Neil, J. M., & Lindsay, D. (in press). Development and evaluation of the Gender Role Conflict Short Form (GRCS-SF). Psychology of Men and Masculinity.

Abstract

Within the literature on the psychology of men, the gender role conflict paradigm has been one of the most productive research programs explaining the impact of restrictive gender roles in men’s lives. Despite recent efforts aimed at understanding GRC from a multicultural perspective, few studies have examined the factor structure of the primary measure of GRC, the GRCS, using diverse samples of men. That was one goal of this research, the second being the development of a short form of the GRCS, the GRCS-SF, designed to address concerns about item content of the GRCS. Confirmatory factor analyses supported the four-factor model of the GRC construct, both as experienced by men of color as well as replicated within the GRCS-SF. Items used in the GRCS-SF reflect greater conflict, increased situational focus, and potential clinical use. The meaning of these findings, as well as their implications for therapy with men is discussed.


Boysen, G. A., Fisher, M., DeJesus, M., Vogel, D. L., & Madon, S. (2011). The mental health stereotype about gay men: The relation between gay men’s self-stereotype and stereotypes about heterosexual women and lesbians. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 39, 329-360.

Abstract

Implicit inversion theory suggests that stereotypes about gay men include beliefs that they possess certain mental health traits more characteristic of women than men. However, no research has explored gay men’s stereotype about their own mental health or how their self-stereotype relates to stereotypes of women (i.e., heterosexual women and lesbians). Three studies documented gay men’s self-ste- reotype about mental health and compared it to other stereotypes. Comparisons among stereotypes about gay men, heterosexual women, and lesbians suggested that the stereotype about gay men partially overlaps with the stereotypes about heterosexual women and lesbians but also has traits independent of those female stereotypes. Overall, there appears to be a prevalent stereotype about gay men’s mental health that is partially explained by the implicit inversion theory.


Wester, S. R., McDonough, T. A., Vogel, D. L., White, M., & Taylor, L. (2010). Using gender role conflict theory in counseling male-to-female transgender individuals. Journal of Counseling and Development, 88, 214-219.

Abstract

Ideally, society would allow for gender diversity and fluidity of gender roles. However, our society currently does not, and therefore ignoring gender socialization while providing therapy to transgender clients runs the risk of missing a significant aspect of the transgender experience. To address this, we review the literature on gender role conflict (GRC) as it pertains to the transgender experience of biological males whose authentic self is female. Specifically, we explore the main types of distress that can be experienced by transgender individuals and then detail the therapeutic process that many transgender individuals go through. Using a GRC perspective, we specify how GRC applies to transgender individuals and offer suggestions for working with this population using this approach.


Boysen, G. A., Vogel, D. L., Cope, M., & Hubbard, A. (2009). Incidents of bias in college classrooms: Teacher and student perspectives. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 4, 219-231.

Abstract

Little is known about incidents of bias specific to college classrooms or how they are handled by instructors. To learn more about this subject, professors, graduate instructors, and undergraduates (N = 2,523) completed surveys assessing perceptions of classroom bias. Results indicated that about a quarter of instructors and half of students perceived an incident of bias in a classroom in the last year. Instructors’ responses to bias commonly included forms of direct confrontation, discussion, and ignoring. Undergraduates perceived significantly more bias than instructors and rated responses to bias as significantly less effective than instructors. Undergraduates also reported that instructors were occasionally the perpetrators of bias. These results indicate that preparation of instructors should include increased awareness of bias and methods of handling classroom bias.


Boysen, G. A., & Vogel, D. L. (2009). Bias in the Classroom: Types, Frequencies, and Responses. Teaching of Psychology, 36, 12-17.

Abstract

Incidents of bias still occur in college classrooms, but no research has specifically explored this topic. In order to address this gap in the literature professors (N = 333) completed anonymous surveys assessing types of bias that occurred in their classroom, their responses to the bias, and the success of their responses. Results indicated that 38% of professors had an incident of bias in the classroom in the last year and that overt (i.e., explicit) and subtle (i.e., implicit) bias occurred with similar frequency. Professors perceived their responses to bias as successful on average, but many could not assess success. Bias, in all its forms, still exists in college classrooms, and more discussion and research about its management is necessary.  


Boysen, G. A., & Vogel, D. L. (2008). Education and mental health stigma: The effects of attribution, biased assimilation, and attitude polarization. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 5, 447-470.

Abstract

Educational interventions to reduce stigmatizing attitudes about mental illness have not been compared to evaluate their effectiveness. To systematically compare educational interventions college students (N = 232) were presented with high and low control explanations (psychosocial vs. biological) of high and low control disorders (addiction vs. schizophrenia), and the effects on the stigmatizing attitudes of blame and social distancing were measured. Perceptions of how persuasive the information was and its impact on attitudes were predicted by preexisting attitudes about mental illness. However, perceptions of the persuasiveness of the educational information were also consistent with attribution theory such that low control (i.e., biological causes and schizophrenia) was associated with less blame. These results illustrate the complexity of attitudes about mental illness and a potential difficulty in changing them.


Boysen, G. A., & Vogel, D. L. (2008). The relationship between level of training, implicit bias, and multicultural competency among counselor trainees. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 2, 103-110.

Abstract

The assessment of attitudes toward diversity among counselor trainees has relied on self-report measures. Implicit measures might offer a valuable addition to self-report because they assess biased attitudes indirectly, do not rely on conscious introspection, and often demonstrate bias that contradicts self-reported attitudes. A sample (N = 105) of counselor trainees was assessed with measures of implicit bias toward African Americans and lesbians and gay men and a measure of self-reported multicultural competency. Implicit bias was present among counselor trainees despite high self-reported multicultural competency. In addition, self-reported multicultural competency varied by training level, but implicit bias did not. The results suggest that implicit bias can add to the understanding, assessment, and training of multicultural counselor competency.   


Wester, S. R., Christianson, H. F., Vogel, D. L., Wei, M. (2007). Gender role conflict and psychological distress: The role of social support. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 8, 215-224.

Abstract

Recent theoretical work in the psychology of men suggests that the negative consequences associated with traditional male gender role (i.e., increased interpersonal and intrapersonal distress)men might suffer fewer consequences associated with their male gender r might be lessened for men whoole if they experienced a sense of friendship and social support. However, little research exists exploring how men adaptively navigate this process. Using a sample of 396 male participants, this study explores whether social support mediates or moderates the relationship between gender role conflict and psychological distress. Results, obtained via the Baron and Kenny (1986) method of testing mediation/moderation, demonstrate that social support acts as a partial buffer mediator between gender role conflict and psychological distress, thereby lending support for the idea that men would benefit from increased friendships and social support. No evidence for moderation was obtained.


Boysen, G. A., & Vogel, D. L. (2007). Biased assimilation and attitude polarization in response to learning about biological correlates of homosexuality. Sex Roles, 56, 755-762.

Abstract

According to attribution theory, stigmatized behaviors with biological explanations will be perceived more positively than those with psychological explanations, but informing people of the biological explanations of homosexuality has produced mixed results. To examine if biased processing could explain previous findings we tested whether biased assimilation (initial attitudes’ effect on perceived persuasiveness) and attitude polarization (initial attitudes’ effect on attitude change) explained the effects of learning about biological explanations of homosexuality among 210 U.S. undergraduates. General Linear Model analyses showed that (1) individuals with positive attitudes toward homosexuality saw biological explanations as a more persuasive reason to accept homosexuality than those with negative attitudes and (2) initial attitudes led to a strengthening of those attitudes after learning about biological explanations.


Boysen, G., Vogel, D. L., & Madon, S. (2006). Public versus private administration of the implicit association test. European Journal of Social Psychology, 35, 1-12.

Abstract

This research includes two experiments that examined (a) whether the assessment situation in which individuals complete an implicit measure of bias alters their responses and (b) whether the hypothesized effect of the assessment situation on implicitly assessed bias reflects socially desirable responding. Participants in Experiment 1 (N = 151) completed an IAT measuring bias toward homosexuality in either a public or a private assessment situation. Consistent with studies of explicitly assessed attitudes, implicitly assessed bias toward homosexuality was significantly lower when assessed in a public versus a private assessment situation. Participants in Experiment 2 (N = 102) completed an IAT measuring bias toward homosexuality in a public assessment situation under a bogus pipeline or no-bogus pipeline condition. Results indicated that participants’ implicitly assessed bias did not significantly differ across these conditions. The authors discuss these findings in terms of possible automatic processes affecting the malleability of implicitly assessed attitudes.


Wester, S. R., Vogel, D. L., Wei. M., & McLain, R. (2006). African-American men, gender role conflict, and psychological distress: The role of racial identity. Journal of Counseling and Development, 84, 419-429.

Abstract

Little research exists exploring the intersection of male gender role conflict (GRC), racial identity, and psychological distress. Accordingly, using a sample of 130 self-identified African-American male participants, this study explored which aspects of racial identity mediated the relationship between GRC and psychological distress. Results demonstrated that racial identity attitudes reflective of internalized racism (Self-Hatred) partially mediated the relationship between GRC and psychological distress.


Wester, S. R., Kou, B., & Vogel, D. L. (2006). Multicultural coping: Chinese Canadian adolescents, male gender role conflict, and psychological distress. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 7, 87-104.

Abstract

One hundred and seventy nine Chinese-Canadian adolescents completed measures of male gender role conflict, culturally specific coping strategies, and psychological distress. Structural equation results demonstrate that Avoidance Coping and Engagement Coping mediated the relationship between all aspects of male gender role conflict, with the exception of Restricted Affectionate Behavior Between Men, and psychological distress. Implications for counseling practice, further research, as well as the psychology of men are discussed.


Boysen, G., Vogel, D. L., Madon, S., & Wester, S. R. (2006). Mental health stereotypes about gay males. Sex Roles, 54, 69-82.

Abstract

Three studies were conducted to examine the mental health stereotypes about gay men among college student and therapist trainee samples. Results from Study 1 indicated that (a) college students and therapist trainees endorsed a stereotype of the mental health of gay men that was similar in terms of its content and strength, and (b) the stereotype was consistent with five DSM-IV-TR disorder categories: mood, anxiety, sexual and gender identity, eating, and personality disorders. In studies 2 and 3 we investigated whether homophobia or a tendency to report cultural beliefs could account for the lack of difference between college students and therapist trainees. Results did not support either explanation.


Vogel, D. L., Wester, S. R., Heesacker, M., Boysen, G. A., & Seeman, J. C. (2006). Gender differences in emotional expression: Do mental health trainees overestimate the magnitude? Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 25, 306-334.

Abstract

Three studies examined whether mental health trainees over-estimate emotional differences between the sexes. In Studies 1 and 2, two samples of mental health trainees, reporting about dating women and men (Study 1), and female and male clients (Study 2), were found to over-estimate sex differences in emotional expressiveness. Mental health trainees reported sex differences in women’s and men’s willingness to express specific emotions and in their comfort and perceptions of risk involved with talking about emotions that were greater than the differences found in women's and men's self-reports. In fact, in contrast to the mental health trainees’ reports, Study 3 revealed no significant sex differences in the observed emotional expression of women and men or female and male clients. Across studies, mental health trainees were found to over-estimate sex differences 50-67% of the time.


Wester, S. R., Vogel, D. L., & Archer, Jr., J. (2004). The impact of male supervisee’s restricted emotionality on their perceptions of counseling supervision. Journal of Counseling and Development, 82, 91-99.

Abstract

Previous research demonstrates that male counselors deal with their restricted emotionality (RE) by directing the turning-against-other defensive style toward their clients. The purpose of this study was to: (a) determine if 103 male psychology interns would behave similarly and turn against their supervisors, or as a function of their lack of power in the supervisory relationship, respond with the turning-against-self defensive style; and (b) assess the impact of supervisor sex on this behavior. Results indicated that male supervisees with higher levels of RE evidenced a turning-against-self style in the form of lower counseling self-efficacy. Additionally, male supervisees working with a male supervisor reported poorer perceptions of the supervisory working alliance. Finally, we discuss implications for counseling training.


Vogel, D. L., Epting, F., & Wester, S. R. (2003). Counselors' perceptions of their clients: Do we reinforce traditional gender roles? Journal of Counseling and Development, 81, 131-141.

Abstract

Data from the intake reports of 59 client cases (37 female and 22 male) were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. After submitting preliminary descriptions to peer audits, a final description of these counselors' perceptions was constructed. The description included two core categories that helped shape several themes regarding counselors' perceptions of their clients: (a) counselors' attempts to describe their clients current overall functioning and (b) counselors' descriptions of what counseling and/or the counseling relationship is like. Further, for the female clients the themes of "vulnerability" and "paying attention to how much the client asserts herself" were more pronounced than for the male clients. For the male clients the themes of "being stuck" and "paying attention to how much the client is connected to others" were more pronounced than for female clients. Several differences also emerged in the emphasis female and male counselors put on specific themes.


Wester, S. R., & Vogel, D. L. (2002). Working with the male mystique: Male gender role conflict, counseling self-efficacy, and the training of male psychologists. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33(4), 370-376.

Abstract

Psychologists must be prepared to serve increasingly diverse clients. However, research suggests that specific consequences of a traditional male socialization, collectively known as gender role conflict (GRC), interfere with trainee’s developing appropriate therapeutic skills with certain populations. In an effort to address this, and to inform those involved in the training and supervision of male therapists, this article discusses: (a) the theory of male GRC; (b) its relationship to the clinical performance of male psychologists; (c) links between that relationship and their sense of self-efficacy as a therapist; and (d) specific suggestions for addressing GRC during the course of clinical training.


Wester, S. R., Vogel, D. L., Pressly, P., & Heesacker, M. (2002). Sex differences in emotion: A critical review of the literature and implications for counseling psychology. The Counseling Psychologist, 30(4), 630-652.

Abstract

This article examines the findings of several reviews of the empirical literature on biological sex and emotion; focusing on the degree to which perceived sex differences in emotionality are, and in most cases are not, supported while at the same time addressing the implications this body of research has for counseling psychologists. This article also explores potential explanations, such as gender role socialization or situational influences, for the profession's continued acceptance of large innate sex-based affective differences. Finally, the third section discusses several concerns this continued acceptance raises for the practice of counseling, whereas the final section offers a research agenda.


Heesacker, M., Wester, S. R., Vogel, D. L., Wentzel, J. T., Mejia-Millan, C. & Goodholm, B. (1999). Gender-Based Emotional Stereotyping. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 46(4), 483-495.

Abstract

Previously published research documents that mental health professionals reflect the general public's stereotype of women as hyperemotional. This article reports results of six studies exploring whether mental health professionals and the general public hold a parallel stereotype of men as hypo-emotional. As predicted, counselors and college students consistently stereotyped men as hypo-emotional (all ps < .01). Not only do people hold this stereotype, but data from these studies suggest that the stereotype is associated with bias in counseling relevant judgment. For example, hypo-emotional stereotypes of men were significantly related to blaming the husband, as opposed to the wife or other sources, for a married couple's difficulties, across three different sources of marital conflict (p < .01).