Validation of the Sexual Orientation Microaggression Inventory in Two Diverse Samples of LGBTQ Youth

Gregory Swann, Reese Minshew, Michael E. Newcomb, Brian Mustanski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Critical race theory asserts that microaggressions, or low-level, covert acts of aggression, are commonplace in the lives of people of color. These theorists also assert a taxonomy of microaggressions, which includes “microassaults,” “microinsults,” and “microinvalidations”. The theory of microaggressions has been adopted by researchers of LGBTQ communities. This study investigated the three-factor taxonomy as it relates to a diverse sample of LGBTQ youth using the newly developed Sexual Orientation Microaggression Inventory (SOMI). Exploratory factor analysis was used to determine the number of factors that exist in SOMI in a sample of 206 LGBTQ-identifying youth. Follow up confirmatory factor analyses were conducted in order to compare single-factor, unrestricted four-factor, second-order, and bi-factor models in a separate sample of 363 young men who have sex with men. The best fitting model was used to predict victimization, depressive symptoms, and depression diagnosis in order to test validity. The best fitting model was a bi-factor model utilizing 19 of the original 26 items with a general factor and four specific factors representing anti-gay attitudes (“microinsults”), denial of homosexuality, heterosexism (“microinvalidations”), and societal disapproval (“microassaults”). Reliability analyses found that the majority of reliable variance was accounted for by the general factor. The general factor was a significant predictor of victimization and depressive symptoms, as well as unrelated to social desirability, suggesting convergent, criterion-related, and discriminant validity. SOMI emerged as a scale with evidence of validity for assessing exposure to microaggressions in a diverse sample of LGBTQ youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1289-1298
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Discrimination
  • Internalizing
  • Microaggression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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