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LGB service members’ relationship status, satisfaction, and well-being: A brief report

APA Citation:

Savarese, E. N., Collazo, J., & Evans, W. R. (2022). LGB service members' relationship status, satisfaction, and well-being: A brief report. Armed Forces & Society. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327X2210984

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study used the minority stress model to examine whether having an intimate partner was related to lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) Service members’ mental health and level of minority stressors (i.e., outness and internalized homophobia). 238 LGB Service members completed questionnaires about their relationship status, mental health factors (e.g., anxiety symptoms, posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD]), minority stressors, relationship satisfaction (if they were partnered), and demographics (e.g., age, race). Overall, there were no differences in mental health between LGB Service members who were in an intimate relationship and those who were single.


Mental health

Branch of Service:

Air Force
Coast Guard
Marine Corps
Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Active duty service member
Guard/Reserve member


Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)


Quantitative Study


Savarese, Elizabeth N., Collazo, Jessica, Evans, Wyatt R., Balsam, Kimberly F.


Recently, the legal landscape for sexual minorities in the United States has changed dramatically, prompting empirical research on lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) couples and LGB service members. This study examined the relationship characteristics and mental health of LGB service members in couple relationships and compared partnered and single LGB service members. A total of 238 LGB service members completed an anonymous survey, including questions about demographics, identity, military experiences, and mental health symptoms. Results of descriptive and exploratory analyses revealed no significant differences in mental health between partnered and single participants. However, partnered individuals reported higher outness and lower internalized homophobia compared with their single counterparts. Analyses also revealed negative associations between relationship satisfaction and mental health symptoms among partnered participants. Among the first to examine LGB service members’ romantic relationships, the results of this study have important clinical and policy implications and inform next steps in researching this population.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:


Publication Type:

REACH Publication
Featured Research

Author Affiliation:

Palo Alto University, ENS
Palo Alto University, JC
Palo Alto University, KFB
Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System, WRE
Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, WRE


LGBTQ, relationship satisfaction, minority stress, internalized homophobia

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  February 2023

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