School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)
Appalachia, bicultural, stigma, mental health, multicultural
Evans-Fulton, Victoria Lynn, "Bicultural Appalachian Females: The Mediating Effect of Perceived Stigma on Health Outcomes" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4525.
Appalachia has been the focus of ongoing curiosity and ascribed disdain in Euro-centric American history. An amalgamation of cultures found a home in the Appalachian Mountains, blending to create a unique collectivistic culture still visible today. However, this culture has often been misconstrued as unhealthy or undesirable at best and, by reductionistic intentions, relegated to a culture of poverty. Within this system, Appalachian females have faced the burden of the intersectionality of their identities, given the acculturation expectations and Appalachian identity stigma imposed by the dominant Euro-North American culture. As indicated in scholarly literature, despite chronic marginalization and systemic oppression, a silent minority still retains the core elements of its heritage culture. However, it remains hidden by a bicultural approach that bridges the gap between identifying as Appalachian and American. This study hypothesized that perceived stigma directly impacts the overall physical and mental health outcomes of women who identify as culturally Appalachian. The degree of bicultural expression was assumed to affect the strength of the relationship between perceived stigma and health outcomes.