The most recent objective of my program of research was borne out of the collective trauma that many LGBTQ people like myself felt after the 2016 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The aim of this research is to better understand how collective traumas impact vulnerable minority communities. Preliminary findings, published in Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, suggest that LGBTQ subgroups with relatively less social capital (e.g., transgender, genderqueer people) felt less safe after the shooting, as compared to LGBTQ subgroups with more social capital (e.g., gay, cisgender men). These findings support the intersectional approach to understanding how identities relate to health problems that I employ in my research.
Utilizing data from the same large sample of LGBTQ people collected in the aftermath of the Pulse shooting, I am presently investigating to what extent beliefs about the shooter's motives are related to variance in dimensions of collective trauma. It is hypothesized that LGBTQ people who believe that the shooting was primarily motivated by anti-LGBTQ bias will report increased experiences of collective trauma, as compared to those who believe the shooting was primarily an act of terrorism. This manuscript, which is being prepared for submission to Aggression and Violent Behavior, will help providers to identify people who are at greater risk for experiencing significant distress following collective traumas. It may also lend support to interventions that use cognitive restructuring and meaning making processes to improve posttraumatic adjustment.
Stults, C. B., Kupprat, S. A., Krause, K. D., Kapadia, F., & Halkitis, P. N. (2017). Perceptions of
safety among LGBTQ people following the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 4(3), 251–256.