Sexual Minority Stressors and Intimate Partner Violence Among Same-Sex Couples: Commitment as a Resource

Xiaomin Li, Melissa A. Curran, Emily Butler, W. Roger Mills-Koonce, Hongjian Cao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Accumulating evidence has been found for the associations from sexual minority stressors to intimate partner violence (IPV) among same-sex couples. Yet key gaps still exist, including the rare utilization of couple dyadic data, the understudied moderating and mediating mechanisms, and the few studies conducted during the transitional period of same-sex marriage legalization. To address these gaps, we used cross-sectional, dyadic data collected from 144 US same-sex couples during the 2014–2015 national campaign for the legalization of same-sex marriage. Guided by the systemic transactional model (STM), we examined associations from sexual minority stressors (including both internalized homophobia and discrimination) to same-sex IPV and tested whether commitment moderated or mediated these associations. Overall, we found evidence supporting the STM: (1) High internalized homophobia and discrimination were related to high prevalence and/or frequency of IPV perpetration; (2) high commitment attenuated positive associations between high discrimination and high prevalence and/or frequency of IPV perpetration; and (3) high internalized homophobia was related to low commitment, which in turn was related to high prevalence and/or frequency of IPV perpetration. Collectively, our study identified commitment as both a moderator and mediator in associations from sexual minority stressors to same-sex IPV. Further, the roles of commitment (i.e., moderator or mediator) depend on whether the focal sexual minority stressors are distal and more intermittent (i.e., heterosexist discrimination) or proximal and more constant (i.e., internalized homophobia).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2317-2335
Number of pages19
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Commitment, moderating, and mediating
  • National legalization of same-sex marriage
  • Same-sex IPV perpetration
  • Sexual minority stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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