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Review a research article in an area of professional/academic interest to you that utilizes statistical analysis to test empirical hypotheses. Describe for your peers what the study was testing, how the testing was accomplished, the statistical method(s) for doing so, and broadly what the findings were. More specifically, identify the meaningful p-values (probability values) and effect sizes (strength of relationships/effects) that the study obtained. Talk about what those values mean from a quantitative and qualitative standpoint. Choose one description provided by a peer and propose a future quantitative research question based on the findings from their study.

Initial Post Due Wednesday Week 5 and Peer Response Due Sunday Week 5

This assignment meets the following Course Learning Outcomes:

CLO2 – Apply probability and the Central Limit Theorem to test research hypotheses that estimate populations (PLO 2, 4, 5)
CLO4 – Recognize and apply variable conditions and analytic assumptions that support the use of specific statistical methods (PLO 4, 5)
CLO6 – Correctly implement the appropriate statistical methods to analyze research questions (PLO 4, 5)
CLO7 – Interpret statistical results and consider appropriate conclusions, implications, and limitations (PLO 4, 5, 7)

Chris responded to the main post

Discussion 5

          The study that I chose to report upon, that is also an area of interest for me, centers around the concepts of how religion/spirituality impacts coping and mental health for those in the LGBTQIA+ community (referred to in the research as sexual minorities). The researchers highlight the documented connection between sexual minorities and minority stressors (discrimination, internalized prejudice) and how those stressors contribute to psychological distress, anxiety and depression. Since religious/spiritual practices can be considered both positive and negative coping mechanisms, the researchers sought to identify both coping styles and the influence they have upon mental health of sexual minority people.

          The study sample included 143 sexual minority individuals, ranging in age from 18 to 77. The mean age was 38.8 with a standard deviation of 14.50, and a median of 36. The study was conducted via online survey with recruiting techniques that included advertising via social media, and other online locations where sexual minorities frequent. Participants had to agree that they were at least 18 years old, living in the US, and identified as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

          The researchers hypothesized that heterosexist discrimination and internalized heterosexism would contribute to a greater level of psychological distress, and a lower state of psychological well-being. Additionally, they linked these two attributes to a hypothesized lower level of positive religious experience/coping, and higher levels of unhealthy/negative religious coping behaviors. The study used the Heterosexist Harassment, Rejection, and Discrimination Scale which is a Likert-style 14 item instrument that measures the frequency of respondents reporting experiencing harassment, rejection, and discrimination within the past year time period. Consistency for the HHRDS was .90. Internalized heterosexism was measured with an inclusive version of the Internalized Homophobia Scale (IHP) which is also a likert-style instrument with 9 questions.  Positive and negative religious coping was measured using the Brief Measure of Religious Coping Styles (B-RCOPE), 14-item likert scale, and psychological distress was assessed using the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-21 (HSCL-21), a 21 item likert scale.

          The researchers described the results as affirming most of their hypothesis, as they found correlation between heterosexist discrimination and internalized heterosexism being related to greater psychological distress and a lower psychological well-being. Only internalized heterosexism was related significantly to a greater positive religious coping. The data and the findings contributed to the implications for clinical practice by correlating positive religious coping with increases in psychological well-being and a reduction in internalized heterosexism.

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Brewster, M. E., Velez, B. L., Foster, A., Esposito, J., & Robinson, M. A. (2016). Minority stress and the moderating role of religious coping among religious and spiritual sexual minority individuals. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 63(1), 119-126.