Perception of partner support and its impact on mental health among heterosexual and LGBQ+ adults
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Doctoral dissertation, PsyD / YU only
Past research has explored the relationship between spousal support and depression, indicating an inverse relationship. However, few studies have examined how this relationship may differ for couples of minority sexual orientations and middle-older age. Based on models of minority stress, these stigmatized groups often experience greater negative mental health outcomes. The present study aimed to explore the relationship between perceived spousal support and depression among married people of different sexual orientation (LGBQ+ and heterosexual) and age (younger and middle-aged/older adults). In this study using archival data from the Health and Relationship Project (HARP), LGBQ+ married individuals (n = 590) and heterosexual married individuals (n = 248) ranging in age from 35-65 (M = 48.6, SD = 8.38) completed online questionnaires measuring depression, perceived spousal support, and other demographic variables such as health, gender, age, and sexual orientation. Higher levels of perceived spousal support and older age were associated with lower levels of self-evaluated depression. The positive impact of spousal support on depression did not vary for different sexual orientations or age groups (younger and middle-older adult). Though our study was limited by the age-range sampled and self-report methodology, the results provide further support for the exploration of spousal support as a contributing factor to healthier psychological experiences. Findings may have clinical implications for those working with LGBQ+ couples.
Cohen, L. (2022, May). Perception of partner support and its impact on mental health among heterosexual and LGBQ+ adults
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