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J Soc Pers Relat. 2019 Jul;36(7):2180-2201. doi: 10.1177/0265407518785768. Epub 2018 Jul 24.

Commitment, interpersonal stigma, and mental health in romantic relationships between transgender women and cisgender male partners.

Author information

1
Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI USA.
2
Department of Family & Community Medicine, Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
3
Department of Medicine, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
4
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA USA.
5
Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA USA.
6
The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, Boston, MA USA.
7
Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI USA.
8
Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA, USA.

Abstract

The goals of this study were to: (a) examine associations between interpersonal stigma and psychological distress among a sample of transgender women and their cisgender male partners; and (b) identify whether commitment moderates the association between interpersonal stigma and psychological distress. To address these aims, 191 couples consisting of transgender women and their cisgender male partners completed a one-time survey. Actor-partner interdependence models (APIM) were fit to examine stigma, commitment, and their interaction on psychological distress. More frequent experiences of interpersonal stigma were associated with elevated psychological distress for both partners. For transgender women, higher commitment was associated with lower psychological distress. There was a significant interaction effect such that the association between interpersonal stigma and psychological distress was attenuated by greater commitment for transgender women, but not for their cisgender male partners. Findings provide preliminary support for associations between interpersonal stigma and mental health of both partners, and identify commitment as a potential stress buffer for transgender women.

KEYWORDS:

Stigma; commitment; couples; mental health; transgender women

PMID:
31086428
PMCID:
PMC6510026
[Available on 2019-07-01]
DOI:
10.1177/0265407518785768

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of Interest: Each of the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest Ethical approval: All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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