Sexuality Research and Social Policy

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 1–14 | Cite as

“Is This Normal? Is This Not Normal? There Is No Set Example”: Sexual Health Intervention Preferences of LGBT Youth in Romantic Relationships

  • George J. Greene
  • Kimberly A. Fisher
  • Laura Kuper
  • Rebecca Andrews
  • Brian MustanskiEmail author


Limited research has examined the romantic relationships of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth despite evidence of relationship-oriented risks, including STI/HIV infection, unplanned pregnancy, and interpersonal violence. In efforts to inform future dyadic sexual health interventions for LGBT youth, this couple-based study aimed to identify the most salient sexual and relationship concerns of young same-sex couples and to assess their preferences for intervention content and format. Participants were a subset 36 young, racially and ethnically diverse, same-sex couples (N = 72 individuals) recruited from two ongoing longitudinal studies. Interviews were coded using a constant comparison method, and a process of inductive and deductive thematic analysis was used to interpret the data. The analysis yielded the following intervention themes: addressing sexual risk and protective behaviors, improving communication, coping with family and relationship violence, and identifying role models and sources of support. The couples reported a clear preference for small group interventions, and many recommended a mixed format approach for intervention delivery (i.e., including dyadic and online sessions). Additionally, recommendations for participant recruitment included a combination of Internet-based and social network referrals.


Couples Health promotion Health status disparities HIV Homosexuality Qualitative research Sexual health 



This research was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (1R21MH095413; PI Mustanski). A small portion of the sample was also recruited through a cohort funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA025548; PIs Mustanski and Garofalo). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funders. We are grateful to the Project Q2 and Crew450 study participants and their partners, and also Lou Bigelow, Antonia Clifford, and Matthew Thoman for coding the interview transcripts. We thank Antonia Clifford and the reviewers for constructive feedback on earlier drafts of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • George J. Greene
    • 1
  • Kimberly A. Fisher
    • 2
  • Laura Kuper
    • 3
  • Rebecca Andrews
    • 1
  • Brian Mustanski
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medical Social SciencesNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Center on HalstedChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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