Interracial same-sex couples' perceptions of stress and coping: An exploratory study

Sharon Scales Rostosky, Ellen D.B. Riggle, Todd A. Savage, Staci D. Roberts, Gilbert Singletary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Thirteen interracial same-sex couples (8 male, 5 female) participated in a 30-minute dyadic conversation focused on perceptions of stress and coping in their relationship. A qualitative analysis of the transcribed conversations revealed that the majority of couples experienced both race-related and sexual identity-related stress. Almost half of the couples perceived that their identities as same-sex couples were the source of more stress than their identities as interracial couples. Across the full sample, couples described using five coping strategies, including seeking support, meaning-making, using humor, active problem-solving, and avoidance. Implications for future research and culturally competent practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-299
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of GLBT Family Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partially funded by a 2004 Wayne F. Placek award with additional funding provided by the University of Kentucky College of Education. Preliminary results of this study were presented at the 2005 annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C. We appreciate the feedback and assistance of the PRISM research team ( at the University of Kentucky. We especially thank Russell Couch for his assistance with this project. We are deeply indebted to our transcriptionist, Ms. Phyllis Hoovler. Dr. Rostosky and Dr. Riggle are cofounders of PRISM (Psychosocial Research Initiative on Sexual Minorities).


  • Gay
  • Homophobia
  • Interracial same-sex couples
  • Lesbian
  • Racism
  • Same-sex relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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