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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice
Page(s) Advance on
Title of proceedings Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice
DOI 10.1037/cfp0000199


The aim of the present study was to examine associations between internalized heterosexism and support processes among same-gender couples. Individuals who belong to a sexual minority group and report negative representations of their sexual identity (what we term internalized heterosexism) are known to report poorer individual well-being (Meyer, 2003) as well as lower relationship satisfaction (Cao et al., 2017). We expected that internalized heterosexism would be negatively associated with the evaluation and provision of support in same-gender couples. We used a multimethod approach including daily self-report measures of support over 14 days and observed support interactions between partners to examine the associations of internalized heterosexism with (a) perceptions of partner support and relationship satisfaction and (b) observed partner support provision behavior. Data of 68 same-gender couples were analyzed with Actor–Partner-Interdependence-Models (APIM; Kenny & Cook, 1999). Relationship satisfaction as well as partners’ general levels of perceived support at baseline were unrelated to one’s own and partners’ reports of internalized heterosexism (no significant actor and partner effects). Individuals who reported more internalized heterosexism, however, evaluated their partner’s daily support as more negative compared to individuals with lower internalized heterosexism. Moreover, we found a trend that internalized heterosexism is negatively associated with the quality of observed support behavior. Couple interventions should, therefore, target internalized heterosexism to enhance support processes between partners.