Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services

First Advisor

Rachel Navarro


The poor and working class are largely overlooked or ignored across many aspects of U.S society including public policy, societal structure, representation in media, and even in the realm of psychological research (Lott, 2002; Smith, 2005). Furthermore, of the scanty representations and descriptions of the poor and working class that are available, most are derived from oppressive classist views and negative stereotypes (Smith, 2010). Classism pervades the social structure of the United States. Classist beliefs and experiences of classism are internalized by all members of society to some degree. Working class and poor people who experience internalized classism are likely to experience a number of negative effects such as depression, increased shame, difficulty with relationships, etc (Smith, 2010; Russell, 1996). To date, there has been limited research related to social class in the field of psychology, but this has been growing. However, there is currently no measure available that assess internalized classism which severely limits important research regarding this phenomenon resulting from classist oppression. The purpose of this project was to create an instrument that will potentially aid in the further the understanding of the impact of classist oppression when it is internalized by those who are oppressed, the working class and poor. The scale construction procedures, analysis, and empirical attributes will be provided in addition to the limitations of this research project and implications for future research and practice.