Lisa Diamond

Lisa Diamond
University of Utah | UOU · Department of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

96
Publications
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (96)
Article
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Sexual fluidity has been defined as a capacity for situation-dependent flexibility in sexual responsiveness, which allows individuals to experience changes in same-sex or other-sex desire across both short-term and long-term time periods. I review recent evidence for sexual fluidity and consider the extent of gender differences in sexual fluidity b...
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In this article I discuss three questions that should be priorities for future research on lesbian love and relationships. The first question concerns the very definition of “lesbian relationship,” given how many women may be engaged in same-sex relationships without identifying as lesbian. The second question concerns the potential influence of ch...
Article
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Ongoing political controversies around the world exemplify a long-standing and widespread preoccupation with the acceptability of homosexuality. Nonheterosexual people have seen dramatic surges both in their rights and in positive public opinion in many Western countries. In contrast, in much of Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Oceania, and...
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Adolescent stress-related growth refers to enhancement in an adolescent’s cognitive-affective or social resources as a result of experiencing stressors. We tested whether adolescents reporting high levels of stress-related growth showed superior adaptation outcomes on a day-to-day basis. Participants (n = 91; females = 46, age = 14) completed a que...
Article
Fluidity in attractions and behaviors among same-sex attracted women has been well-documented, suggesting the appropriateness of dynamical systems modeling of these phenomena over time. As dynamical systems modeling offer an approach to explaining the patterns of complex phenomena, it may be apt for explaining variability in female same-sex sexuali...
Chapter
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The attachment theory provides a coherent framework for understanding how individuals’ earliest ties to their caregivers during infancy and childhood influence the quality of their adult romantic bonds. Historically, these linkages have been understood chiefly in terms of individuals’ internalized, psychological models of relationships. Yet, we now...
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Although the raw number of adolescent romantic and sexual involvements is well documented, the actual experience and meaning of these relationships for adolescents receives little attention. As a result, these relationships are frequently classed together on the basis of surface similarities, despite important structural and functional differences....
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This chapter provides an overview of the key developmental and adjustment issues faced by sexual-minority youths (i.e., those with same-sex attractions, fantasies, or behaviors), gender nonconforming youths (i.e., those whose appearance, behavior, or interests violate traditional norms for masculinity or femininity), and transgender youths (i.e., t...
Chapter
All adolescents have sex lives, whether they are sexually active with others, with themselves, or seemingly not at all. The question is whether they are going to have healthy experiences, at any or every level of sexual activity. (Ponton, 2000, p. 2)
Chapter
Reliance on close social partners for support and emotional security appears to be a fundamental component of human nature that emerges at the very beginning of life and plays a critical role in health and well-being over the lifespan. The present chapter provides an overview of contemporary social-psychological research on the basic functions and...
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This chapter assesses the distinctive features of female same-sex sexuality and considers their implications for modeling the nature and development of female sexual orientation. After reviewing the state of current research on these directions, it outlines some of the most provocative and promising directions for future research. Of all of the pre...
Article
In the current study the authors surveyed a nationally representative sample of 632 cohabiting American couples during the height of the 2007–2009 economic crisis to examine associations between relationship quality and partners' attributions of causation and blame for household money problems. In couples where women attributed causation for househ...
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Extensive research has investigated links between individual differences in youths' autonomic nervous system (ANS) functioning and psychological outcomes related to emotion regulation, yet little of this research has examined developmental change. The study tested whether individual differences in youths' tonic and stress-induced ANS functioning, a...
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Losing a close relationship is highly stressful and a robust predictor of major depression in adolescents. The current study examined relationships between attachment insecurity, parasympathetic nervous system activity, indexed by respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and adolescent adjustment to the loss of a close social partner. Adolescents with m...
Article
We tested associations among empathic responsiveness, attachment style, and vagal tone (a physiologic index of emotion regulation) in 103 mother–adolescent dyads. Dyads discussed positive and negative topics and then separately reviewed a videotape of the interaction and rated their own and the other person's affect at one‐minute intervals. We used...
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We review recent neuroimaging research on the experiences of romantic love and sexual desire, focusing specifically on the question of links and distinctions between the brain regions involved in these experiences. We conclude that although love and desire are associated with distinct patterns of brain activation, certain regions (such as the cauda...
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Over the past decade, numerous studies have documented fundamental differences between the phenomenology of male and female sexual orientation, largely centering on women's capacity for fluidity in their sexual attractions. The past decade has also witnessed fundamental changes in clinical perspectives on "normal" versus "dysfunctional" patterns of...
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The present study tested whether individual differences in autonomic nervous system functioning interact with environmental risk factors to predict adolescents' psychosocial functioning. The authors assessed skin conductance and respiratory sinus arrhythmia at rest and during laboratory stressors in 110 14-year-olds. Subsequently, adolescents and t...
Chapter
This chapter reviews current research on the role of the family in fostering (or hindering) psychosocial development among sexual-minority adolescents and young adults. It seeks to understand the dynamic, changing interplay between youths and their family members as they all undergo different adaptational challenges as part of the youths' identity...
Article
Despite the central importance of sexuality to human well-being, the study of sexuality remains marginalized within health psychology, which hampers the ability of clinicians and policy-makers to promote comprehensive health and well-being. In this review we discuss the evidence that sexual functioning makes critical contributions to human health,...
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Few developmental transitions during the adolescent years receive as much attention - by youths themselves, their parents, the media, and social scientists - as transitions in sexuality, and there have been dramatic changes over the past 50. years in this domain. This article provides a comprehensive review of current social scientific knowledge ab...
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In 39 individuals in cohabiting relationships, the associations between naturally occurring couple conflict (assessed with end-of-day diaries) and next-morning ratings of negative affect, sleep disruptions, and awakening cortisol response were tested. Low-avoidant individuals showed heightened negative affect the morning after heightened quarreling...
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Previous research suggests that cardiac vagal regulation (indexed by respiratory sinus arrhythmia, or RSA) provides a physiological substrate for affect regulation, which presumably underlies adaptive interpersonal functioning.The authors tested these associations in the context of daily interactions between 68 cohabiting couples. Participants unde...
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In this chapter, we review and critique how conventional models of gender and sexual identity development have represented the experiences of transgender individuals, and we argue for an expanded model of transgender identity development which can accommodate the diversity of their lived realities. Transgender is a broad category typically used to...
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The romantic relationships of emerging adulthood (EA) pose a range of new psychological and emotional challenges that are unique to this stage of life. As youths make the transition from the casual romantic ties of adolescence to more serious and substantive relationships, the “stakes” of day-to-day relational maintenance become progressively highe...
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In this chapter, we provide a comprehensive overview of current state-of-the-art research on intimate relationships, attempting to synthesize research findings within a broader life-span/developmental framework. We review key findings on the basic dynamics of romantic attachment, the development of romantic ties at different stages of life, and the...
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We investigated whether motivation for same-sex sexual contact was related to mid-cycle peaks in estrogen levels (typically associated with ovulation) among women with consistent versus inconsistent patterns of same-sex sexuality. Twenty women (M age = 30 years), all of whom have been providing data on their sexual behavior and identities since 199...
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Over the past decade, psychobiological research on adult attachment has increased dramatically. We review recent findings regarding associations between attachment style and patterns of reactivity in the hypothalamic—pituitary—adrenocortical axis and the autonomic nervous system. The overall pattern of results suggests that both anxiety and avoidan...
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The present chapter provides a review of some of the primary psychological issues confronting sexual minorities (i.e., individuals with same-sex attractions and relationships). Our goal is to provide a flexible set of preliminary questions that can be used to help sexual-minority clients to articulate their own idiosyncratic experiences and give vo...
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Dichotomous models of gender have been criticized for failing to represent the experiences of individuals who claim neither an unambiguously female nor male identity. In this paper we argue that the feminist theoretical framework of intersectionality provides a generative approach for interpreting these experiences of gender multiplicity. We review...
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This study investigated changes in day-to-day affect, behavior, and physiology (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis activity) associated with temporary physical separations from romantic partners (such as those brought about by work-related travel). Daily diaries and measures of salivary cortisol were collected from 42 couples over a 21-day...
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This study examined day-to-day mood changes associated with disclosure of positive and stressful events as affect regulation within couples. In daily diaries, 48 couples cohabiting in the United States reported whether they told their partner about the most positive and stressful event of their day. Participants reported greater positive affect on...
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The importance of attachment relationships in fostering psychological and physical well-being at all stages of the life course makes it more important to bridge the long-standing bifurcation between infant–child and adult attachment research. The development of integrative, lifespan, biobehavioral models of the attachment system should be a priorit...
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Debates persist over whether bisexuality is a temporary stage of denial or transition, a stable "3rd type" of sexual orientation, or a heightened capacity for sexual fluidity. The present study uses 5 waves of longitudinal data collected from 79 lesbian, bisexual, and "unlabeled" women to evaluate these models. Both the "3rd orientation" and "fluid...
Chapter
IntroductionThe Importance of Intimate RelationshipsSexual Orientation and Same-Sex IntimacyMultiple Pathways of Sexual-Minority DevelopmentSexual-Minority Youths' Romantic RelationshipsOther-Sex Romantic RelationshipsWhat Counts As a Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Relationship?Conclusion: Appreciating the Diversity of Youths and their Relationships
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This study examined 2 forms of affect coregulation in 48 cohabiting heterosexual couples who provided daily ratings of positive and negative affect for 21 days. Coregulation was operationalized as covariation in partners’ daily levels of affect and coupling of the rates of change of partners’ affective cycles. Both forms of coregulation were detect...
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Researchers have documented substantial variability in the development and expression of same-sex sexuality, especially among women, posing challenges to traditional linear developmental models. In this article, I argue for a new approach to conceptualizing the development and expression of female same-sex sexuality over the life course, based in d...
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Historically, psychophysiological measures have made an invaluable contribution to personality psychology. Questions regarding interindividual differences and intraindividual changes in emotion, cognition, motivation, arousal, and attention are core topics within personality psychology, and these questions are particularly amenable to a psychophysi...
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Feminist theory has had an undoubtable but inconsistent influence on developmental psychology. Although feminist perspectives have productively challenged developmental models centered on male experiences (Gilligan 1982) and have called attention to socialization practices that reproduce systematic gender inequalities (Bem 1993), more radical femin...
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Research suggests that the quality of childhood attachments to caregivers influences the development of capacities and strategies for emotion regulation. Avoidantly attached indi- viduals are characterized by emotion-regulation strategies involving the suppression of negative thoughts and feelings. Psychophysiological research on repressive coping...
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This chapter introduces and defines the notion of positive adolescent female sexuality and summarizes the diverse perspectives that each of the chapters in this volume takes regarding this topic.
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To effectively promote the health and well-being of sexual-minority youths and adults, social scientists must collect and disseminate information that more accurately represents how sexual identity development is actually experienced rather than recollected. Toward this end, I present data from an ongoing longitudinal study of sexual identity devel...
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Previous psychological and anthropological research suggests that female-female desires show greater variability and plasticity than do male-male desires. I argue that plasticity in female-female desire has its origins in the evolved independence between female proceptivity (i.e., motivation to initiate sexual activity) and female arousability (i.e...
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Hazan and Shaver's (1987) seminal notion that romantic love is an adult "version" of infant-caregiver attachment radically transformed our understanding of the nature and dynamics of adult intimate pair bonds, and the reverberations of this conceptual turning point continue to shape psychological research on adult romantic relationships. Journal Ar...
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Some readers may come away from Hammack’s integrative synthesis of biological and sociocultural perspectives on sexual orientation with a vague sense of déja vu. Certainly, this is not the first attempt to replace essentialist/social constructionist debates with a more thoughtful consideration of the multiple, historically specific transactions...
Article
Young men were subjected to laboratory inductions of anger and anxiety after undergoing a physiological assessment of vagal tone, an index of parasympathetic nervous system func- tioning that has been associated with emotion regulation in prior research. We tested whether: (i) young men's emotional reactivity and recovery were associated with their...
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Research has increasingly documented that the distinction between lesbian and bisexual women is one of degree rather than kind, and some researchers have therefore argued for an end to sexual categorization altogether. To the contrary, I maintain that researchers should explore alternative criteria for sexual categorization that might allow us to d...
Article
Comments on an article by Michelle Fine (see record 1989-06813-001). The author's groundbreaking analysis of adolescent girls' 'missing discourse of desire' spotlighted the multiple ways in which sociocultural forces operate to erase and undermine girls' experiences and articulations of sexual agency. Although her analysis has obvious applications...
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Observing sex between otherwise heterosexual women has long been a staple of male fantasy, but only recently has this fantasy graduated from the shelves of pornographic video stores to mainstream movies and television shows. This puts feminist psychologists in a quandary: on one hand, images of female-female sexuality between attractive, 'heterosex...
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The current study compared the peer relationships and well-being of 60 sexual-minority (i.e., nonheterosexual) and 65 heterosexual youths between the ages of 15 and 23. Sexual-minority youths had comparable self-esteem, mastery, and perceived stress as did heterosexuals, but greater negative affect. Younger sexual-minority male adolescents had smal...
Article
Although sexual desire and romantic love are a often experienced in concert, they are fundamentally distinct subjective experiences with distinct neurobiological substrates. The basis for these distinctions is the evolutionary origin of each type of experience. The processes underlying sexual desire evolved in the context of sexual mating, whereas...
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As psychological research on sexual-minority (i.e., nonheterosexual) adolescents has increased over the past 20 years, it has become increasingly segregated from research on mainstream heterosexual youths, as if the knowledge gleaned from each population had nothing to offer our understanding of the other. To the contrary, understanding of both pop...
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In this commentary, we build upon the papers featured in this 2-part special issue to advance an integrative perspective on emotion regulation that emphasizes the developmentally specific goal-contexts of emotional phenomena. We highlight the importance of (1) multilevel longitudinal investigations of interactions among biological, affective, cogni...
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There have been many anecdotal accounts of individuals who self-identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual only to relinquish these identities later. The current study examines this phenomenon among a sample of young nonheterosexual women who underwent 3 interviews over a 5-year period. Over a quarter of these women relinquished their lesbian/bisexual i...
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Emotion regulation has been studied in diverse ways within different subdisciplines of psychology—most notably social development, personality and individual differences, social psychophysiology, interpersonal relationships, and stress and coping. The goal of this Special Issue is to demonstrate the value of integrating these diverse approaches for...
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Although it is typically presumed that heterosexual individuals only fall in love with other-gender partners and gay-lesbian individuals only fall in love with same-gender partners, this is not always so. The author develops a biobehavioral model of love and desire to explain why. The model specifies that (a) the evolved processes underlying sexual...
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One-hundered and sixty-eight sexual-minority and heterosexual youths aged 15–24 completed questionnaires to assess gender and sexual orientation differences in the percentage of same-gender peers in youths' friendship networks, the gender of their best friends, and their degree of attachment to these friends. Most youths had predominantly same-gend...
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This article provides a qualitative analysis of the intimate friendships of 80 adolescent and young adult sexual-minority women who were interviewed as part of an ongoing longitudinal study. Many reported having participated in a same-sex best friendship that they considered as committed, intimate, passionate, and intense as a romantic relationship...
Article
Despite the increasing use of psychophysiological measures to investigate social and interpersonal phenomena, few studies of adult romantic attachment have taken advantage of this approach. In this article I argue for a biologically-specific, theory-based integration of psychophysiological measures into adult attachment research. This approach woul...
Article
Scholarly investigations into male and female sexuality over the life course have long occupied two separate "camps": One focused on the biological aspects of sexuality and one focused on the sociocultural/political aspects. This bifurcated approach has been particularly ill suited for the study of sexual desire, a topic that has been generally und...
Article
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The present investigation explored gender differences in sexual identity development--first same-sex attractions, self-labeling, same-sex sexual contact, and disclosure--among 164 sexual-minority young adults. Based on interviews, results indicated the value of assessing gender differences in the context, timing, spacing, and sequencing of sexual i...
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Application of the principles of evolution and natural selection to the phenomena of human mating does not lead inevitably to a single theoretical model. According to the standard evolutionary model, formally known as sexual strategies theory (D. M. Buss & D. P. Schmitt, 1993), biologically based sex differences in parental investment have resulted...
Article
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Previous research suggests that the sexual identities, attractions, and behaviors of sexual-minority (i.e., nonheterosexual) women change over time, yet there have been few longitudinal studies addressing this question, and no longitudinal studies of sexual-minority youths. The results of 2-year follow-up interviews with 80 lesbian, bisexual, and "...
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Abstract:Adolescent friendships containing the emotional intensity of romantic relationships, yet lacking sexual activity, have been documented in numerous cultures and historical periods. This research explores these relationships among contemporary young sexual-minority women. Phone interviews with 80 lesbian, bisexual, and unlabeled women betwee...
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Previous research suggests that the sexual identities, attractions, and behaviors of sexual-minority (i.e., nonheterosexual) women change over time, yet there have been few longitudinal studies addressing this question, and no longitudinal studies of sexual-minority youths. The results of 2-year follow-up interviews with 80 lesbian, bisexual, and "...
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This article summarizes findings from two ongoing studies charting the development of 167 adolescent and young adult sexual-minority women. Resultsdocument considerable variation in the quality, relative distribution, and context of women's same-sex and other-sex attractions. Furthermore, contrary to conventional wisdom, the timing of a woman's fir...
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Although some research suggests that sexual orientation is a stable, early appearing trait, interviews with 89 young sexual-minority women revealed that a majority of women failed to report at least one of the following: childhood indicators of sexual orientation, stability in same-sex attractions, or awareness of same-sex attractions prior to the...
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In this chapter, the authors first outline a "differential developmental trajectory" approach to the study of developmental processes among sexual-minority individuals. This approach emphasizes the diversity among nonheterosexuals in addition to their relevant differences from heterosexuals. They then review that which is known about the distinctiv...
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Thesis (M.A.)--Cornell University, August, 1996. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 114-125).
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This chapter provides an overview of current research on same-sex intimate relationships, emphasizing the most central and well-researched domains: relationship initiation, maintenance, satisfaction, and dissolution, gender-related dynamics, sexuality and sexual exclusivity, and violence and abuse. The chapter begins with a discussion of the implic...
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One of the most robust findings to emerge from health psychology over the past 30 years is that individuals in enduring, committed romantic relationships have longer, healthier, and happier lives than unmarried individuals (Kitigawa & Hauser, 1973; Ryff, Singer, Wing, & Love, 2001; Stack & Eshleman, 1998). Journal Article

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