Global self-esteem is a central component of the self, and research has consistently demonstrated its influence on relationship quality. Literature has also shown that self-evaluations of one’s perceived social acceptability and physical attractiveness are especially important to one’s evaluation of oneself and one’s relationships. Internalized homonegativity and body dissatisfaction–particularly evident among gay males–share many similarities with some domains of self-esteem and have also been linked with relationship quality. However, less is known about these two variables and how they influence the relationship quality of gay men. This study examined whether global self-esteem and the variables particularly relevant to gay men, internalized homonegativity and body dissatisfaction, were associated with the relationship quality among gay men, while controlling for three relationship-related demographic variables: cohabitation status (whether the couple is living together or apart), relationship status (whether the relationship is open or closed), and number of partners. The dependency regulation model and sociometer theory provided the theoretical context for this study. A sample of 147 gay male participants were recruited through online advertisements to complete anonymous surveys assessing relationship quality, global self-esteem, internalized homonegativity, and body dissatisfaction. Three hypotheses were tested using a hierarchical linear regression model. The results demonstrated that global self-esteem, internalized homonegativity, and body dissatisfaction each significantly predicted relationship quality; however, global self-esteem was nonsignificant when examined concurrently with internalized homonegativity. The clinical implications of this study were explored, and suggestions were made for future stories to explore this topic with a more diverse population sample (e.g., drawing from different ethnic groups, greater variation in age across the lifespan, and both rural and urban communities) as well as possibly using a relatively new measure, the Gay and Lesbian Relationship Satisfaction Scale (GLRSS), which has been developed specifically for the gay and lesbian populations.
|Commitee:||Cerezo, Alison, Loewy, Michael|
|School:||Alliant International University|
|Department:||San Francisco, CSPP|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||LGBTQ studies, Psychology, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Body dissatisfaction, Gay men, Internalized homonegativity, Relationship quality, Same-sex relationship, Self-esteem|
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