Stress and Relationship Functioning in Same-Sex Couples

The Vulnerabilities of Internalized Homophobia and Outness

Casey J. Totenhagen, Ashley Randall, Kayla Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: We examined whether high levels of internalized homophobia and low levels of openness about one's sexual identity ("outness") were enduring vulnerabilities for same-sex couples' relationship functioning. Background: The vulnerability-stress-adaptation (VSA) model describes how stress can impact relationship functioning. This model has predominately been applied to the study of heterosexual couples, which leaves a dearth of literature on enduring vulnerabilities specific to same-sex couples' relationship functioning. Method: Dyadic longitudinal data from a convenience sample of 81 same-sex couples were collected. Internalized homophobia and outness were assessed at baseline followed by 14-day daily diaries assessing external stress and relationship functioning (i.e., severity of conflict, relationship quality, and commitment). Hypotheses were tested using longitudinal actor-partner interdependence models and multilevel modeling. Results: On days that individuals with high (but not low) levels of internalized homophobia reported greater daily stress, they also reported greater severity of conflict and poorer relationship quality. On days that individuals with low (but not high) outness had a partner report greater daily stress, the individual reported lower commitment. Conclusion: Hypotheses were partially supported; high levels of internalized homophobia and low outness were shown to be potential enduring vulnerabilities for individuals in a same-sex relationship. Implications: Helping same-sex couples cope with their own and their partner's daily stress, as well as working to decrease internalized homophobia while increasing openness about their sexuality, may help to promote relational functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFamily Relations
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Homophobia
vulnerability
commitment
Heterosexuality
Sexuality
interdependence
homophobia
sexuality

Keywords

  • Dyadic data
  • Relationship quality
  • Same-sex couples
  • Stress
  • Vulnerability-stress-adaptation model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Stress and Relationship Functioning in Same-Sex Couples : The Vulnerabilities of Internalized Homophobia and Outness. / Totenhagen, Casey J.; Randall, Ashley; Lloyd, Kayla.

In: Family Relations, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{c95dc11fa9bd45d9a0334fcc9b263a90,
title = "Stress and Relationship Functioning in Same-Sex Couples: The Vulnerabilities of Internalized Homophobia and Outness",
abstract = "Objective: We examined whether high levels of internalized homophobia and low levels of openness about one's sexual identity ({"}outness{"}) were enduring vulnerabilities for same-sex couples' relationship functioning. Background: The vulnerability-stress-adaptation (VSA) model describes how stress can impact relationship functioning. This model has predominately been applied to the study of heterosexual couples, which leaves a dearth of literature on enduring vulnerabilities specific to same-sex couples' relationship functioning. Method: Dyadic longitudinal data from a convenience sample of 81 same-sex couples were collected. Internalized homophobia and outness were assessed at baseline followed by 14-day daily diaries assessing external stress and relationship functioning (i.e., severity of conflict, relationship quality, and commitment). Hypotheses were tested using longitudinal actor-partner interdependence models and multilevel modeling. Results: On days that individuals with high (but not low) levels of internalized homophobia reported greater daily stress, they also reported greater severity of conflict and poorer relationship quality. On days that individuals with low (but not high) outness had a partner report greater daily stress, the individual reported lower commitment. Conclusion: Hypotheses were partially supported; high levels of internalized homophobia and low outness were shown to be potential enduring vulnerabilities for individuals in a same-sex relationship. Implications: Helping same-sex couples cope with their own and their partner's daily stress, as well as working to decrease internalized homophobia while increasing openness about their sexuality, may help to promote relational functioning.",
keywords = "Dyadic data, Relationship quality, Same-sex couples, Stress, Vulnerability-stress-adaptation model",
author = "Totenhagen, {Casey J.} and Ashley Randall and Kayla Lloyd",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/fare.12311",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Family Relations",
issn = "0197-6664",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Stress and Relationship Functioning in Same-Sex Couples

T2 - The Vulnerabilities of Internalized Homophobia and Outness

AU - Totenhagen, Casey J.

AU - Randall, Ashley

AU - Lloyd, Kayla

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - Objective: We examined whether high levels of internalized homophobia and low levels of openness about one's sexual identity ("outness") were enduring vulnerabilities for same-sex couples' relationship functioning. Background: The vulnerability-stress-adaptation (VSA) model describes how stress can impact relationship functioning. This model has predominately been applied to the study of heterosexual couples, which leaves a dearth of literature on enduring vulnerabilities specific to same-sex couples' relationship functioning. Method: Dyadic longitudinal data from a convenience sample of 81 same-sex couples were collected. Internalized homophobia and outness were assessed at baseline followed by 14-day daily diaries assessing external stress and relationship functioning (i.e., severity of conflict, relationship quality, and commitment). Hypotheses were tested using longitudinal actor-partner interdependence models and multilevel modeling. Results: On days that individuals with high (but not low) levels of internalized homophobia reported greater daily stress, they also reported greater severity of conflict and poorer relationship quality. On days that individuals with low (but not high) outness had a partner report greater daily stress, the individual reported lower commitment. Conclusion: Hypotheses were partially supported; high levels of internalized homophobia and low outness were shown to be potential enduring vulnerabilities for individuals in a same-sex relationship. Implications: Helping same-sex couples cope with their own and their partner's daily stress, as well as working to decrease internalized homophobia while increasing openness about their sexuality, may help to promote relational functioning.

AB - Objective: We examined whether high levels of internalized homophobia and low levels of openness about one's sexual identity ("outness") were enduring vulnerabilities for same-sex couples' relationship functioning. Background: The vulnerability-stress-adaptation (VSA) model describes how stress can impact relationship functioning. This model has predominately been applied to the study of heterosexual couples, which leaves a dearth of literature on enduring vulnerabilities specific to same-sex couples' relationship functioning. Method: Dyadic longitudinal data from a convenience sample of 81 same-sex couples were collected. Internalized homophobia and outness were assessed at baseline followed by 14-day daily diaries assessing external stress and relationship functioning (i.e., severity of conflict, relationship quality, and commitment). Hypotheses were tested using longitudinal actor-partner interdependence models and multilevel modeling. Results: On days that individuals with high (but not low) levels of internalized homophobia reported greater daily stress, they also reported greater severity of conflict and poorer relationship quality. On days that individuals with low (but not high) outness had a partner report greater daily stress, the individual reported lower commitment. Conclusion: Hypotheses were partially supported; high levels of internalized homophobia and low outness were shown to be potential enduring vulnerabilities for individuals in a same-sex relationship. Implications: Helping same-sex couples cope with their own and their partner's daily stress, as well as working to decrease internalized homophobia while increasing openness about their sexuality, may help to promote relational functioning.

KW - Dyadic data

KW - Relationship quality

KW - Same-sex couples

KW - Stress

KW - Vulnerability-stress-adaptation model

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85043345476&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85043345476&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/fare.12311

DO - 10.1111/fare.12311

M3 - Article

JO - Family Relations

JF - Family Relations

SN - 0197-6664

ER -