The impact of relationship wellness checkups on LGBTQ couples Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/08612t709

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  • Relationship health has many benefits, from physical and emotional health of the partners to their children’s wellbeing. Early intervention programs protect relationships from decline. These programs represent growing public health initiatives. However, most studies on wellness or early intervention overlook lesbian and gay male couples. Research that assumes lesbian and gay relationships are the same as heterosexual cisgender relationships, or that ignores lesbian and gay couples completely, leaves practitioners in the dark on how to intervene successfully. Programs that seek to promote wellness and prevent decline for diverse groups must be able to attune to critical differences, appropriately adapt materials, combat social prejudice, and encourage practitioners to manage unintentional personal bias. Research sheds light on which direction to go to accomplish these tasks. Intervention research with sexual and gender minority couples also encourages existing programs to effectively open and adapt their programs to include lesbian and gay couples in the populations they serve. This study fills this gap in the research on lesbian and gay couples and wellness checkups, offering information about these often-overlooked couples and promoting their inclusion. The study examines the question, “What is the impact of a relationship wellness checkup on gay and lesbian couples’ satisfaction?” The two arms of the study capture different groups – one group is lesbian couples and one group is gay male couples. The method employs a multiple probe, nonconcurrent multiple baseline design. The independent variable is an established relationship health intervention based on motivational interviewing principles, The Marriage Checkup (MC). The dependent variable is relationship satisfaction measured by the Couple Satisfaction Index. Three lesbian couples and three gay male couples participate in the study. The findings show the checkup has a moderate effect on satisfaction for both lesbian couples (NAP =.66) and for gay male couples (NAP = .73). Visual analysis of the data supports these results. The outcome shows a relationship wellness checkup, based on the MC, had a positive benefit for these six couples. The results confirm a relationship checkup for gay and lesbian couples can improve their satisfaction, just as it improves heterosexual couples’ satisfaction. In addition, these results suggest offering an MC to gay and lesbian couples specifically could be beneficial for these couples as wellness support operates in contrast to social stigma, discrimination, and prejudice.
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