Partner violence within same-sex intimate relationships (SS-IPV) is a vastly understudied public health problem. Etiological models of SS-IPV perpetration are critical to intervention development and must include factors unique to same-sex relationships (e.g., sexual minority stress); however, such models have yet to be developed or validated. Three particularly notable explanations for this include exclusive use of cross-sectional designs to study SS-IPV perpetration (i.e., inability to establish temporal effects), no studies which examine the proximal effects of alcohol on SS-IPV perpetration, and a paucity of studies which account for participants? and their intimate partners? intersecting social identities. These limitations prevent research from developing and testing theoretically-based and culturally-sensitive interventions designed to reduce SS-IPV. The scientific premise of the proposed project is to prioritize three perspectives highlighted by the Institute of Medicine (2011) report ? minority stress, social-ecology, and intersectionality ? while addressing the aforementioned weaknesses.
We aim to determine (1) the temporal effect of sexual minority stress on SS-IPV perpetration, (2) whether proximal alcohol use alters the threshold at which sexual minority stress contributes to SS-IPV perpetration, (3) the temporal sequence by which sexual minority stress, proximal alcohol use, and other factors facilitate SS-IPV, and (4) how these interactive and mediational effects are altered by the patterning of individual- and couple-level risk and resilience factors for SS-IPV. These goals will be achieved by using the complementary strengths of laboratory-based experimental (Study 1) and longitudinal daily diary methods (Study 2), which are gold standard methods for establishing temporal relations among risk factors and IPV perpetration. For each study, we will recruit an independent sample of cisgender male-male and female-female couples who identify as gay or lesbian and are at high risk for IPV (based upon prior history of IPV) from Atlanta, GA. Across both studies, effects will be examined within an Actor-Partner Interdependence Modeling framework which will allow for valid analysis of both partners? intersecting identities as well as risk and resilience factors at the individual- and couple-level. The most important contribution of the proposed project will be to provide the first comprehensive etiological model for SS-IPV perpetration that attends to both interactional and process-based factors that account for sexual minority stress and proximal alcohol effects at the individual- and couple-level of analysis. In doing so, results derived from this project will make a major contribution toward the evidence base required to develop effective, culturally-informed SS-IPV treatment and prevention efforts.
The proposed project will for the first time provide a comprehensive etiological model for SS-IPV perpetration that attends to both interactional and process-based factors that account for sexual minority stress effects at the individual- and couple-level of analysis. In doing so, this research will prioritize three perspectives highlighted by the Institute of Medicine (2011) report ? minority stress, social-ecology, and intersectionality ? while simultaneously addressing critical methodological weaknesses in the extant literature on partner violence within same-sex intimate relationships (SS-IPV). The intended outcome is for results derived from this project to provide the desperately needed evidence base to develop effective, culturally-informed IPV treatment and prevention efforts for same-sex couples.