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Measuring a New Stress Domain: Validation of the Couple-Level Minority Stress Scale

Neilands, TB; LeBlanc, AJ; Frost, DM; Bowen, K; Sullivan, PS; Hoff, CC; Chang, J; (2020) Measuring a New Stress Domain: Validation of the Couple-Level Minority Stress Scale. Archives of Sexual Behavior , 49 pp. 249-265. 10.1007/s10508-019-01487-y. Green open access

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Abstract

Existing social stress frameworks largely conceive of stress as emanating from individual experience. Recent theory and research concerning minority stress have focused on same-sex couples' experiences of both eventful and chronic stressors associated with being in a stigmatized relationship, including having ongoing or episodic fears of discrimination, and experiencing actual acts of discrimination. Such couple-level minority stressors represent a novel domain of social stress affecting minority populations that is only beginning to become a focus in empirical investigations testing minority stress theory. This article presents the results of psychometric analyses of dyadic data from 106 same-sex couples from across the U.S., introducing the Couple-Level Minority Stress (CLMS) scale featuring eight new couple-level minority stress factors: (1) Couple-Level Stigma; (2) Couple-Level Discrimination; (3) Seeking Safety as a Couple; (4) Perceived Unequal Relationship Recognition; (5) Couple-Level Visibility; (6) Managing Stereotypes about Same-Sex Couples; (7) Lack of Integration with Families of Origin; and (8) Lack of Social Support for Couples. The CLMS demonstrated a clear factor structure with satisfactory model-data fit and subscale reliabilities. The CLMS also exhibited validity as a correlate of one indicator of relationship quality (relationship satisfaction) and three indicators of mental health (nonspecific psychological distress, depressive symptomatology, and problematic drinking) when controlling for individual-level minority stressors and has great potential to extend and enrich minority stress research, particularly studies that deepen understandings of longstanding health inequities based on sexual orientation.

Type: Article
Title: Measuring a New Stress Domain: Validation of the Couple-Level Minority Stress Scale
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10508-019-01487-y
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-019-01487-y
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Couple-level, Couples, Minority stress, Sexual orientation, Stigma
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10082724
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