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Unwanted Pursuit in Same-Sex Relationships: Effects of Attachment Styles, Investment Model Variables, and Sexual Minority Stressors

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This study examined the frequency and antecedents of unwanted pursuit in the intimate relationships of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered (LGBT) individuals. Analyses were conducted separately for disengagers (individuals who wanted to end a relationship when the other partner did not want to let go) and rejected partners (individuals who wanted to hold on to a relationship that the other person was trying to end). One hundred percent of disengagers reported having experienced at least one unwanted pursuit behavior, and 87.7% of rejected partners reported engaging in at least one unwanted pursuit behavior. Among rejected partners, anxious attachment positively predicted pursuit behaviors; and, among disengagers, avoidant attachment negatively predicted being the target of aggressive behaviors. Investment in the relationship predicted pursuit as reported by disengagers and rejected partners. In addition, lifetime experiences with minority stressors predicted being the target of pursuit among disengagers. The findings expand on earlier research about how personality variables and relationship beliefs affect unwanted pursuit. It also demonstrates how sexual minorities face extra challenges when one partner wants to break up and the other partner does not want the relationship to end.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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