Minority Stress Experiences in Committed Same-Sex Couple Relationships

Sharon Scales Rostosky, Ellen D.B. Riggle, Barry E. Gray, Roxanna L. Hatton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations

Abstract

Providing culturally competent services to same-sex couples requires an understanding of the social context in which these relationships are formed and maintained. Using minority stress theory (I. H. Meyer, 2003) as an interpretive framework, the authors conducted a dyadic-level qualitative analysis of 40 (20 female; 20 male) couples' conversations about their committed partnerships. Findings indicate that couples experience minority stress as they interact with their family members, coworkers, and communities. In response to stressors, couples use coping strategies that include reframing negative experiences, concealing their relationship, creating social support, and affirming self and partnership. Recommendations for practitioners based on these findings include assessing minority stress, facilitating coping, and taking a critical stance toward policies that perpetuate social stigma and chronic stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-400
Number of pages9
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Keywords

  • discrimination
  • gay
  • lesbian
  • relationship
  • social stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology

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