Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor


Second Advisor


Third Advisor



Institutional oppression and social inequality have been a topic of importance for decades within the literature. These adverse events may lead to many mental health problems, segregation between identity groups, and a hostile environment. This study aims to analyze the barriers in Black communities that may prevent Black communities from providing adequate social support or advocating for LGBT people of color. The primary question is: Does religious beliefs and levels of engagement in intergroup dialogue and intergroup contact impact the likelihood of engagement in LGBT affirming behaviors. Participants (n = 276) completed an anonymous online survey, and linear regression results indicated significant contributions from intergroup dialogue, intergroup contact, and lower religion with LGBT affirming behaviors. Intergroup dialogue suggested the strongest contribution to engagement in LGBT affirming behaviors. A moderation analysis was also conducted to determine if intergroup dialogue and intergroup contact would moderate the relationship between high religiosity and low engagement in LGBT affirming behaviors. Results suggested that the intergroup dialogue moderating variable was significant, and the moderating intergroup dialogue variable was not significant.


Thank you to my committee chair, Dr. Gary Howell, for his continual support towards the completion of this project and this degree. You were always available to provide guidance and meaningful feedback during this process, and I am grateful to have experienced this with you. I would also like to thank my committee member and advisor, Dr. Patricia Dixon for her words of wisdom, sense of humor, and encouragement throughout the years. Your guidance has helped me on a personal and professional level, and I am grateful to have trained under someone like you. Thanks to both of you for helping me to develop a passion for treating diverse populations and valuing cultural competency as a professional psychologist. The experiences we shared during our diversity course and while I was your teaching assistant has shaped my cultural identity and encouraged me to complete more research about diversity-related topics. Thank you to Dr. Elizabeth Lane for pushing me to challenge myself, become more proficient in research methods and statistical analysis, and providing valuable feedback for my research project. To all of you, your invaluable contributions, expertise, and support with the completion of this project significantly contributed to my growth as a clinical psychologist. Thank you.