A review of two decades of LGBTQ-inclusive research in JSPR and PR

Amanda M. Pollitt, Karen L. Blair, Pamela J. Lannutti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) relationship science has grown significantly over the past two decades, coinciding with rapid changes in the social acceptance of LGBTQ+ people. However, it is unclear to what extent the top two journals in relationship science, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and Personal Relationships, have contributed to the field. In this critical review, we analyzed the 2181 manuscripts published in the journals between 2002 and 2021 for whether they included or excluded LGBTQ+ participants, the methodologies used to analyze their data, and their conclusions about LGBTQ+ lives and relationships. The overwhelming majority (85.8%) of manuscripts did not acknowledge LGBTQ+ relationships; however, there have been improvements compared to past research in retaining LGBTQ+ participants within a data set when they were present. We identified 92 manuscripts that contributed to knowledge about LGBTQ+ lives or relationships. We discuss the lack of intersectional analyses and methodological challenges of incorporating multiple forms of diversity within quantitative research. Overarching themes across manuscript content included minority stress, relationship formation, social support, and commitment. Overall, though the research in the two journals has contributed to the literature on LGBTQ+ relationships, our review suggests that scholars do not consider these two journals as a first choice for finding or publishing LGBTQ+ relationship science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-173
Number of pages30
JournalPersonal Relationships
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • gay/lesbian relationships
  • gender identity
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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