A Conditional Process Model Explaining Partnered Gay Men's Perceived Relationship Stability

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This study tested a conceptual model that examined how relationship closeness links stigma consciousness to perceived relationship stability among partnered gay men. The study further examined how this link differs for those with lower, compared to higher, levels of internalized homophobia. Cross-sectional data were drawn from an Internet-based survey using a convenience sample of 176 partnered gay men. Results suggest that relationship closeness fully mediated, or accounted for, the link between stigma consciousness and relationship stability for those with low internalized homophobia, but only partial mediation was found among those with high internalized homophobia. For that group, stigma consciousness displayed a strong direct effect as well. Therefore, the absence of an expectation to be stereotyped or discriminated against for being gay plays an important role in helping partnered gay men with high internalized homophobia build strong partnerships more so than for those with low internalized homophobia.



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