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Family Relations






Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

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Background: Although research is emerging on the subtle slights that women experience, research is needed regarding the frequency with which gender-based microaggressions occur, their impact on mental health, and how views on gender roles may influence their impact. Objective: The current study examined how mothers and daughters experienced gender-based microaggressions, internalized sexism, and mental health symptoms. Methods: The sample included 102 predominantly White mother–daughter pairs. Adolescents were 14 to 18 years old, and mothers were 34 to 68 years old. Mothers and daughters answered surveys including a demographic questionnaire, the Gender-Microaggressions Scale, Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, the Patient Health Questionnaire—9 for depression, and the General Anxiety Disorder—7 for anxiety. Results: Greater gender-related microaggressions experienced in the past month were related to higher levels of mental health distress associated with depression and anxiety among mothers and daughters (p < .05). Mothers and daughters scores were significantly correlated (p < .05) for microaggressions experienced in the past month, total score of the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, depression, and anxiety. For mother's depression, a mother's level of ambivalent sexism approached significance in terms of moderating the relationship between microaggressions and mental health (p = .055). Conclusion: Our findings suggest that microaggressions are related to mental health distress in adolescent girls and middle-aged women. Implications: Uncovering the chronic nature of gender-based microaggressions and how these may affect individuals and family systems may be useful in individual and family therapy as well as in efforts to change broader social processes.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Feigt, N. D., Domenech Rodríguez, M. M., & Vázquez, A. L. (2022). The impact of gender-based microaggressions and internalized sexism on mental health outcomes: A mother–daughter study. Family Relations, 71( 1), 201– 219., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.

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