Gamarel, K., Farrales, W., Venegas, L., Dilworth, S. E., Coffin, L. S., Neilands, T. B., ... & Koester, K. A. (2022). A mixed‐methods study of relationship stigma and well‐being among sexual and gender minority couples. Journal of Social Issues.

Research has documented associations between relationship stigma,relationship quality and adverse health outcomes among sexual and genderminority couples. However, this work focused primarily on one aspect of anindividual’s or a couple’s identity rather than understanding theintersections of multiple, stigmatized social identities. As part of a largerproject focused on testing the efficacy of a couples‐based intervention toimprove HIV medication adherence, 144 couples completed measures ofrelationship stigma, relationship quality, mental health, and substance use.A subset of 25 participants completed in‐depth interviews to betterunderstand the phenomenon of relationship stigma and its impact on theirrelationships. Quantitative results demonstrated that greater relationshipstigma was associated with reduced relationship satisfaction and commitment,as well as greater closeness discrepancy and depressive symptoms. Qualitativefindings provided nuanced insights into forms of relationship stigma thatoften intersected with other types of stigma and related forces of social andstructural violence. Results also demonstrated the differential impact thatrelationship stigma had on couples and the ways in which individuals makeadjustments to cope with or actively combat societal stigma. Findingsillustrate the importance of attending to intersecting forms of stigma inaddressing the well‐being of sexual and gender minority couples.