Relationship discord and depressive symptoms in sexual minority individuals over time

Anna L. Gilmour, Mark A. Whisman, Ashley K. Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although there is a well-established positive association between romantic relationship discord and depressive symptoms, there have been few studies assessing this association with sexual minority individuals, who are at increased risk for depression and whose relationships may be subjected to unique challenges (and strengths) given their sexual minority status. This study examined the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between romantic relationship discord and depressive symptoms in sexual minority individuals using data from Project STRIDE, which is a longitudinal survey of 18-59 year-old residents of New York City. Data from 107 individuals in romantic relationships showed significant positive cross-sectional associations between relationship discord and depressive symptoms both at baseline and at a 1-year follow-up. Results from multiple regression analyses indicated that relationship discord at baseline was significantly and positively associated with depressive symptoms 1 year later, whereas depressive symptoms at baseline were not significantly associated with relationship discord 1 year later. The longitudinal association between relationship discord and depressive symptoms remained statistically significant adjusting for internalized heterosexism and discrimination at baseline. Findings are largely similar to those in research conducted in samples not recruited based on sexual minority status and provide an important extension of work that has shown a positive association between relationship discord and depressive symptoms for sexual minority individuals cross-sectionally. If replicated, these findings may have implications for the use of couple-based interventions for depression in sexual minority individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-999
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume33
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Depression
  • LGB
  • Longitudinal
  • Romantic relationships
  • Sexual minority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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