Actor-Partner Effects of Sexual Minority Stress on Relationship Quality in Female Same-Gender Couples

Shelby B. Scott, Aleja M. Parsons, Quyen A. Do, Kayla Knopp, Galena K. Rhoades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Women in same-gender relationships often endure sexual minority stress which can subsequently affect their perceptions of relationship quality. However, most research on sexual minority stress and relationship quality has focused on intrapersonal associations without considering associations across partners. The present study utilized Actor-Partner Interdependence Models (APIMs; Kenny et al., 2006) to investigate actor (i.e., intrapersonal) and partner (i.e., cross-partner) associations of sexual minority stress on relationship adjustment and communication processes in female same-gender couples (N = 103 couples, M age = 33.7). Results include that actor and partner discrimination was associated with relationship adjustment (but not communication), while actor and partner internalized stigma and sexual identity disclosure were associated with communication processes (but not relationship adjustment). When all three components of sexual minority stress were analyzed simultaneously, several components remained significant across relationship quality outcomes. Findings demonstrate the intrapersonal and cross-partner associations of sexualminority stress in female same-gender relationships and have important clinical implications for working with these couples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-91
Number of pages19
JournalCouple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 22 2021


  • female same-gender couples
  • female same-sex couples
  • relationship quality
  • sexual minority stress
  • sexual minority women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology


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