Date of Award
Master of Arts
Individuals with LGBTQ+ identities face discrimination and bigotry, components of their minority status stress, often on a daily basis (Meyer, 2003). Elevated levels of minority stress have been negatively associated with relationship satisfaction (e.g. Rostosky, 2007), such that as minority stress increases, relationship satisfaction often decreases as well. This is an examination of the relationship between general stress, identity-related stress, minority stress, and relationship satisfaction for sexual/gender minority and heterosexual, cisgender individuals who were currently in couple relationships lasting 6 months or longer. All participants completed the Romantic Perceptions Survey, Gender Relations Scale, and Daily Hassles Scale – Short Form. The LGBTQ+ participants also completed the LGBT Minority Stress Measure. I conducted t-test comparisons to examine group differences between heterosexual, cisgender participants and LGBTQ+ participants on relationship satisfaction, identity-related stress, and general stress. The LGBTQ+ and participants exhibited significantly higher levels of relationship satisfaction, general stress, and self-rated identity-related stress than did heterosexual, cisgender participants. I also conducted two hierarchical linear regressions to determine how general stress and identity related stress impacted relationship satisfaction for heterosexual, cisgender participants, and how general stress, identity related stress, and minority stress impacted relationship satisfaction for LGBTQ+ couples. Results of the hierarchical linear regressions were interpreted and found that general and self-rated identity-related stressors in combination predicted relationship satisfaction for LGBTQ+ participants, and general stress alone best predicted relationship satisfaction for heterosexual, cisgender participants. Specific minority status stress did not further contribute to the explanation of relationship satisfaction for LGBTQ+ participants. Results are discussed in terms of implications for research and practice.
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