Weight Disparities Between Female Same-Sex Romantic Partners and Weight Concerns: Examining Partner Comparison

Charlotte N. Markey, Patrick M. Markey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In the current study, we investigated the relevance of women's own and their romantic partners' weight status to the development of weight concerns. Seventy-two female same-sex couples (n = 144 women) completed the Weight Concerns Scale and a researcher measured their height and weight to compute body mass index as a measure of weight status. Using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model, which accounts for the dependency in these data, analyses revealed a significant link between women's own weight status, their weight concerns, and their partners' weight status and their weight concerns. Further, an interaction indicated that women who were heavier and who had thinner female partners were most at risk of experiencing weight concerns. These findings are discussed as evidence for the importance of partner comparisons in the context of romantic relationships and should inform research examining links between romantic relationships and health, particularly among sexual minority couples. Clinical implications of our research include the potential role of couples' therapy in treating not only relationship problems but also potential health challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-477
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


  • body image
  • interpersonal influences
  • interpersonal relationships
  • lesbianism
  • social comparison
  • weight perception

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