Succeeding in Graduate School: The Career Guide for Psychology Students

By Steven Walfish; Allen K. Hess | Go to book overview

11
Stresses and Strategies
for Underrepresented Students:
Gender, Sexual, and Racial Minorities
Renelle Massey
Steven Walfish

All graduate psychology students experience rigorous demands during the course of their training. However, certain groups of students may experience special conflicts and realities that can add more stress to the training experience. Women, racial minority and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered (GLBT) students have additional issues that can make a demanding education regimen even more difficult. In this chapter the focus primarily is on these minorities, but we discuss other minority groups to a lesser extent. Minorities usually experience the same stresses in graduate school that they do in Western society at large. The overall intent of this chapter is to identify the stressors of being different from “the mainstream, ” thereby offering validation of the experience, and to identify ways to cope with the challenges that often accompany this status. The good news is that the issues are being acknowledged and there are growing resources and support to help with them.


STRESSORS FOR MINORITY GROUPS

Stressors specific to minority groups range from identity and esteem issues to subtle prejudice and blatant discrimination. Briefly, the identity issues we are discussing involve such questions as: Where do I fit in this profession? How does my minority status affect me as a

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