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What contributes to healthy romantic relationships? An investigation of heterosexual, lesbian, and gay male couples

Applicant Meuwly Nathalie
Number 154921
Funding scheme Ambizione
Research institution Departement für Psychologie Universität Freiburg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.01.2015 - 30.06.2018
Approved amount 583'352.00
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Keywords (4)

romantic relationships; communication processes; heterosexual and same-sex couples; well-being and health

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Günstige Kommunikationsprozesse in der Partnerschaft haben einen positiven Effekt auf das Wohlbefinden und die Gesundheit der einzelnen Partner. Das vorliegende SNF-Ambizione Projekt untersucht die Rolle des Paartypes und des Geschlechts für den Kommunikationsprozess, wobei heterosexuelle, lesbische, wie auch schwule Paare in die Forschung einbezogen werden.
Lay summary

Menschen, die in einer Partnerschaft lebens, sind im Allgemeinen gesünder und haben ein längeres Leben vor sich, als Menschen, die alleine durch das Leben gehen. Liebesbeziehungen bestehen in unterschiedlichsten Formen, deshalb es ist deshalb naheliegend, sich nicht auf verschiedene Formen der heterosexuellen Beziehung zu beschränken, sondern auch gleichgeschlechtliche Partnerschaften näher zu untersuchen. Aus der bisherigen Forschung mit Paaren wurde ersichtlich, dass eine positive Kommunikation entscheidenend zu einer zufriedenstellenden und stabilen Beziehung beiträgt. Wie lösen Partner Konflikte? Wie unterstützen sie sich im Alltag? Die vorliegende Studie untersucht Gemeinsamkeiten und ebenso Unterschiede zwischen Geschlechtern und Paartypen. Dazu werden partnerspezifische Einschätzungen und auf videoaufgezeichnete Interaktionen von 50 heterosexuellen, 50 lesbischen, und 50 schwulen Paaren untersucht. Zudem werden die Paare auch während ihres Alltags über zwei Wochen mehrmals täglich zu ihrer Kommunikation und ihrem Wohlbefinden befragt. 

Diese Studie wird daher die Rolle des Geschlechts und der Paartypen für die partnerschaftliche Kommunikation genauer untersuchen und neue Erkenntnisse für die gesamte Paarforschung liefern.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 31.10.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Associations between internalized heterosexism and perceived and observed support in same-gender couples.
Meuwly Nathalie, Davila Joanne (2021), Associations between internalized heterosexism and perceived and observed support in same-gender couples., in Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, Advance on.
Relationships, gender, and sexual orientation: Getting beyond the binary
MeuwlyNathalie, RandallAshley (2019), Relationships, gender, and sexual orientation: Getting beyond the binary, in Campos Belinda, Schoebi Dominik (ed.), Routledge, New York, 100-117.
Social psychological and related theories on long-term committed romantic relationships
Meuwly Nathalie, Schoebi Dominik (2017), Social psychological and related theories on long-term committed romantic relationships, in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 106-120.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. Dominik Schoebi Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr. Guy Bodenmann, University of Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Dr. Joanne Davila, Stony Brook University United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Friedtjof W. Nussbeck, University of Bielefeld Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. Beate Ditzen, University of Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
16th Congress of the Swiss Psychological Society Talk given at a conference Sharing intimate thoughts and feelings when stressed seem to play a different role in female same-gender couples 11.09.2019 Bern, Switzerland Meuwly Nathalie;
Mini-conference International Association for Relationship Research Poster Acceptance concerns and identity distress are associated with lower quality of partner support in same-gender couples 20.07.2019 Brighton, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Meuwly Nathalie;
15th Congress of the Swiss Psychological Society Talk given at a conference Identity distress jeopardizes daily relationship quality and well-being of committed same-gender couples 05.09.2017 Lausanne, Switzerland Meuwly Nathalie;
Conference of the International Association for Relationship Research Talk given at a conference Sharing intimate thoughts and feelings when stressed seem to play a different role in female same-gender couples 15.07.2017 Fort Collins, CO, United States of America Meuwly Nathalie;
International Conference of Psychological Science Talk given at a conference Negative representations about one’s own sexual minority identity jeopardize relationship quality and daily support processes in same-gender couples 23.03.2017 Wien, Austria Meuwly Nathalie;
34. Symposium der Fachgruppe Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie Talk given at a conference Verinnerlichte Homonegativität als wichtiger Faktor für die Partnerschaftsqualität von gleichgeschlechtlichen Paaren 05.05.2016 Bielefeld, Germany Meuwly Nathalie;
14th Congress of the Swiss Psychological Society Talk given at a conference Cheering-up in the bedroom! Positive affective consequences of sex: The mediating role of affectionate exchanges 08.09.2015 Genf, Switzerland Meuwly Nathalie;
Mini-conference of the International Association of Relationship Research (IARR) Poster The association between attachment insecurity, dysfunctional regulation strategies, and well-being in response to a separation threat 09.07.2015 Amsterdam, Netherlands Meuwly Nathalie;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Fachtagung des interdisziplinären Instituts für Familienforschung und –beratung zum Thema ‚Wer darf Eltern sein? Familienkonstellationen und die Entwicklung der Kinder‘ Talk 17.06.2016 Fribourg, Switzerland Meuwly Nathalie;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Regenbogenfamilien – und wie geht es den Kindern? Fritz&Fränzi. Das Schweizer Elternmagazin German-speaking Switzerland 2016

Abstract

Communication between romantic partners is an important predictor of relationship satisfaction and couples stability. How couples cope with conflicts and how partners support each other also affects their individual psychological and physical well-being (e.g., Proulx, Helms, & Buehler, 2007; Robles & Kiecolt-Glaser, 2003). Research on romantic relationships is mostly based on heterosexual couples, but a few existing studies of different types of couples have shown that relationship functioning in gay and lesbian couples may be similar to heterosexual couples (e.g., Kurdek, 2008; Peplau & Fingerhut, 2007). Several studies suggest that couples with same-sex partners communicate more harmoniously and/or are more satisfied in their relationships (e.g., Gottman et al., 2003; Roisman, Clausell, Holland, Fortuna, & Elieff, 2008). These findings are, however, limited because they are mostly based on self-report data and cross-sectional designs. Multi-method studies including data on daily relationship processes in heterosexual, gay male and lesbian couples are still lacking. The current project aims to shed light on differences and similarities of communication processes in heterosexual, gay and lesbian couples suggesting a multi-method design. Conflict communication and support processes in 50 heterosexual, 50 lesbian and 50 gay male couples will be compared regarding: (1) partner’s overall perception of communication processes, (2) video-taped couple interactions, and (3) daily diaries with repeated measures of both partners during 14 days. Daily repeated measures are necessary to understand the dynamics of communication processes under real life conditions. This study will help understanding the role of gender and relationship type in couples’ relationship functioning. Further, it will expand the literature of same-sex couples living in Switzerland and provide a scientific background for ongoing discussions in society and politics. One possible way of promoting healthy individuals in a society is to support healthy romantic relationships.
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