Winter 2016 Research and Theory Section Update

Christine Proulx, Ph.D., Section Chair
Content Area

Dec. 14, 2016

Each year, the Research and Theory Section of NCFR recognizes the highest-scoring abstract submitted by a student or new professional. This year's award went to Dr. Casey Totenhagen, who, along with coauthors Ashley Randall and Kayla Lloyd, submitted the proposal titled "Stress and Relationship Quality: Vulnerabilities in Same-Sex Couples."

Dr. Totenhagen is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Alabama. Her research interests include relational quality in a variety of adult romantic relationships, with an emphasis on how daily experiences affect relationship quality.

The winning abstract applied the Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation model to same-sex couples, with a focus on internalized homophobia and outness as enduring vulnerabilities that might moderate the extent to which daily stress is associated with relationship quality. Dr. Totenhagen and her colleagues found that on days that individuals with high (but not low) levels of internalized homophobia reported greater daily stress, they also reported greater severity of conflict, poorer relationship quality, and lower commitment. Partners' stress was also associated with decreased commitment for men (not women) with high internalized homophobia.

The section congratulates Dr. Totenhagen on her award!

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