Healthy Queer Relationships

PSYC 390/490: Healthy Queer Relationships

An Independent Study by Sam Bottrill, supervised by Dr. Erica Woodin and Lorna Breen, MSc


Sexual and gender minority relationships and relationships self-identified as queer relationships have been historically occluded from psychological research.

As research into queer relationships continues to develop, it is evident that these relationships experience unique stressors, adaptations, and gender dynamics. Measures developed specifically for heterosexual couples cannot be translated into other relationship structures for this reason. Thus, it is imperative to understand the unique features of queer relationships before developing new measures that account for gender and sexual minority relationships. 

The objective of this study was to find common themes related to relationship satisfaction, identity, and functioning in the public online discourse on queer relationships and to contribute a queer perspective to the direction of relationship psychology. Themes of familial rejection and acceptance, gender dynamics, and strength from friendships were predicted to be found in the data.


A digital ethnography was conducted, followed by the use of reflexive qualitative analysis of the themes surrounding queer relationships present in posts on public online forums. Fifty posts were gathered from publicly available online forums and thematically analyzed using the software MaxQDA.





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