Dr. Laurel Watson publishes to The Counseling Psychologist

Laurel WatsonWatson, L. B., Velez, B. L., *Brownfield, J., & *Flores, M. J. (2016). Minority stress and bisexual women’s disordered eating: The role of maladaptive coping. The Counseling Psychologist, 44, 1158 – 1186. doi: 10.1177/0011000016669233


The purpose of this study was to explore the link between bisexual women’s experiences of anti-bisexual discrimination and disordered eating, while examining potential mediating variables underlying this link: outness/identity concealment and maladaptive coping (i.e., coping via internalization, detachment, and drug and alcohol use). A total of 353 bisexual women participated in this study. The relationship between outness and disordered eating was not significant. Higher levels of anti-bisexual discrimination were related to more disordered eating behaviors, and this relationship was mediated by coping via internalization. However, anti-bisexual discrimination was directly related to more coping via detachment and drug and alcohol use. Findings from the study suggest that attending to bisexual women’s experiences of discrimination in counseling is particularly important. Moreover, assisting bisexual women in resisting internalization of discriminatory experiences may be a potential point of intervention for mental health professionals working with bisexual women experiencing disordered eating.