Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Bryan N. Cochran

Commitee Members

Allen Szalda-Petree, Craig Ravesloot, Duncan Campbell, Amanda Golbeck


LGBT, minority stress, microaggression, substance use, ecological momentary assessment


University of Montana


Background: People who identify as LGBTQ experience elevated rates of minority stress, which has been linked to higher rates of substance use. Unfortunately, most extant research on this disparity is predicated on cross-sectional or longitudinal research methods that are insensitive to the effects of daily microaggression experiences, or their possible relation to daily substance use risk. The aim of this study was to address this knowledge gap using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Method: LGBTQ individuals (N = 50) were recruited from the University of Montana, attended a 90-minute orientation to complete baseline measures, and received instruction regarding the proper use of EMA devices. Each device prompted participants six times daily for 14 consecutive days. Each prompt included questions regarding recent microaggression and general mistreatment experiences, current mood, recent substance use, and motives for use. Data were analyzed using hierarchical linear and non-linear modeling. Results: Microaggressions experienced within the last two to three hours, or since individuals’ last measurement prompt, were positively associated with higher event-based psychological distress, cravings for use, and recent general and coping-motivated substance use. These relationships were statistically significant after accounting for general mistreatment experienced contemporaneously, and were consistently larger in magnitude. Discussion: This study adds to existing minority stress research by highlighting the potential effects of daily microaggression experiences. These results also contribute to our understanding of daily stress processes and provide insight into ways we might mitigate these effects using real-time monitoring and intervention technology.



© Copyright 2017 Nicholas Alexander Livingston