Sexual and Gender Minority Health
9:00 am-12:15 pm
In the coming years professionals are expected to accommodate the influx of older sexual minorities (OSM) as the baby-boomers enter old age. OSM are at risk for poorer well-being compared to their heterosexual counterparts, which is rooted from the stresses of being marginalized. Much evidence connects minority stressors, internalized homonegativity, outness, and microaggressions to poorer well-being; however, there our understanding of the minority stress process is lacking as few stressors are studied as they happen. Furthermore, there is limited knowledge on how age contextualizes this process. OSM have witnessed unique sociopolitical climates, yet report less minority stress compared to younger adults, which may be a result of having greater resilience through expertise in social relationships, increased positivity, and/or practice with previous experiences of discrimination.
Speaker: Dr. Toni Bisconti Ph.D, M.A., B.S.
Dr. Toni Lynn Bisconti has been a faculty member at the University of Akron for 15 years. She is a NE Ohio native, growing up in Lowellville, a very small village outside of Youngstown. After high school, she attended Youngstown State University graduating in 1995 with a B.S. in psychology. After her undergraduate training, she attended the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, where she earned her M.A. in 1997 and her Ph.D. in 2001, both in Psychology. Dr. Bisconti has been a faculty member since 2001, starting her career at the University of New Hampshire and continuing it in 2006 at the University of Akron, in which she is still an Associate Professor of Psychology. Dr. Bisconti has done research on older adults since she started her graduate program 25 years ago. Her specific research interests include resilience, successful aging, and how older adults cope with transitions related to later adulthood. The unique experiences and sociohistorical contexts of minorities shape aging trajectories as minority-related stigmas are confronted with additional age related vulnerabilities. These intersections are most distinct in the junctures where older adults are exposed to discrimination, stigma, and prejudice across their multiple identities.
Although older minorities experience significant adversity in these situations, in many cases they maintain positive outcomes and outlooks in their aging trajectories. Her work in her Transitions, Resilience, and Identity (TRI) Lab at UA concentrates on understanding the extent to which exposure of stigma, discrimination, and prejudice predicts well-being in addition to identifying buffering factors that may minimize these associations. Presently, the TRI lab approaches these questions with three distinct lines of research: (1) The role of age in minority stress in older adult sexual minorities, (2) Measuring and understanding benevolent ageism, and (3) recognizing the impact of ageist epithets on older adults. Additionally, Dr. Bisconti has taught several classes in the areas of aging, prejudice, discrimination, and diversity. Finally, Dr. Bisconti has been featured on WAKR-1590 Akron on both the Ray Horner and Jasen Sokol Shows, as well as on Cleveland’s Channel 19 News The Next 400 segment. Collectively, she has been published in these areas over 25 times and has presented her work nationally over 50 times. For further information, please see her ResearchGate profile (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Toni_Bisconti).
REGISTRATION & CANCELLATION INFORMATION:
Class sizes are limited, so register early. Classes with low registrations may be canceled. If the class is canceled or moved, participants will be contacted via email at least 24 hours in advance.
Classes start and end on time. To ensure a quality experience for all, please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the class start time and find a seat. CEU credits will be adjusted 0.25 credit hours for every 15 minutes not in attendance; adjusted certificates will be emailed to participants within 3 business days after the training. Hard copies of certificates will be mailed upon request.
It is difficult to control room temperature to everyone's comfort level. We suggest you dress in layers that can be adaptable to warm and cool temperatures.
For auditing purposes, arrival and departure times and signature are required on attendance sheets.