Identity is a complex construct that is easy to experience and difficult to define. Although several preexisting scales assess single identity constructs, no validated scale assesses the dynamic experience of multiple identities simultaneously. Drawing from the extensive work in social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979) and collective self-esteem (Luhtanen & Crocker, 1992), the Dual Identity Distress Scale is explored, tested, and refined through the use of measurement models, and invariance testing in a latent variable model assesses the equivalence of the scale across different situations involving competing identities. Two consistent factors emerge: (1) identification with the dual identity, and (2) negative affect when considering one’s dual identity. Results reveal that identification with a dual identity is independent of identification with singular identities, and negative affect when considering dual identities strongly predicts traditional measures of self-esteem. These findings provide a greater understanding of how intersectional identities can affect overall psychological well-being.
There are 3 components to the DID Scale.
- Identification with the dual identity (ID) – 6 ITEMS
- Negative Affect when considering the dual identity (NA) – 4 ITEMS
- Public Discrimination against the dual identity (PD) – 5 ITEMS
It is also recommended that you utilize the open-ended prompt ahead of the scale to prime participants with the dual identity before completing the measure. We are rarely asked to consider both of our identities simultaneously, therefore this prompt is essential.
It is also recommended that you assess the single identities [A] and [B] using preexisting validated measures to ensure that you are accessing a construct that is distinct from the two separate identities. The African American Racial Identity Lab at the University of Michigan has validated a series of brief measures assessing different components of singular identity.
Open Ended Dual Identity Distress
Consider your experience as [A][B]. Please provide a brief paragraph of any emotions and events that come to mind when you think about being [A] [B]. We would like you to be as frank as you like in describing your experiences, positive or negative.
Dual Identity Distress Scale
Please consider your experience as [A][B] and rate your agreement or disagreement with the following statements.
Strongly Disagree – Disagree – Neither Agree nor Disagree – Agree – Strongly Agree
- I often interact with people who are also [A][B]s.(ID)
- I enjoy telling others that I am [A][B]. (ID)
- I am active in organizations or social groups that include mostly members who are [A][B]s. (ID)
- I have spent a great deal of time thinking about what it means to be [A][B]. (ID)
- I have a clear sense of what it means to be [A][B]. (ID)
- When I think of being [A][B], I think of positive memories. (ID)
- When I think of being [A][B], I am angry. (NA)
- When I think of being [A][B], I am frustrated. (NA)
- When I think of being [A][B], I am sad. (NA)
- When I think of being [A][B], I think of negative memories. (NA)
- In general, people do not expect [B] to also be [A]. (PD)
- In general, people do not expect [A] to also be [B]. (PD)
- In general, most people think positively about [A][B]s. (PD*)
- [A][B]s are ignored by others. (PD)
- Discrimination against [A][B]s is common. (PD)
- Black Graduate Conference in Psychology (2010)
- International Communication Association (2011)
- American Psychological Association (2012) w/ Shaughan Keaton