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Trauma Violence Abuse. 2015 Jul;16(3):291-8. doi: 10.1177/1524838014526067. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Traumatogenic Processes and Pathways to Mental Health Outcomes for Sexual Minorities Exposed to Bias Crime Information.

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Psychology Department, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA


Vicarious traumatization of nonvictim members of communities targeted by bias crimes has been suggested by previous qualitative studies and often dominates public discussion following bias events, but proximal and distal responses of community members have yet to be comprehensively modeled, and quantitative research on vicarious responses is scarce. This comprehensive review integrates theoretical and empirical literatures in social, clinical, and physiological psychology in the development of a model of affective, cognitive, and physiological responses of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals upon exposure to information about bias crimes. Extant qualitative research in vicarious response to bias crimes is reviewed in light of theoretical implications and methodological limitations. Potential pathways to mental health outcomes are outlined, including accumulative effects of anticipatory defensive responding, multiplicative effects of minority stress, and putative traumatogenic physiological and cognitive processes of threat. Methodological considerations, future research directions, and clinical implications are also discussed.


LGBT; hate crimes; vicarious trauma; violence against

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