Organization: University of Aberdeen
Dr Shun Chen is a Lecturer of Person-centred Counselling and Psychotherapy in the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen. He is a Chartered Psychologist and a member of the Division of Counselling Psychology of the British Psychological Society (BPS), as well as an accredited psychotherapist with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Dr Chen has dedicated over 8 years to the practice of person-centred psychotherapy, with a special focus on gender and sexual diversity. Throughout his career, he has developed a strong research interest in the areas of minority stress, microaggressions, stereotypes, authenticity, and interpersonal communication. One of Dr Chen’s contributions to the field of person-centred counselling and psychotherapy is the development of a concise tool to evaluate the facilitative conditions of empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard.
Title: Dispositional authenticity, perceived facilitativeness, and relationship quality in same-sex couples: Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Analysis
In a society where heterosexuality is privileged, and other sexualities are stigmatized and underrepresented, individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) often face additional challenges in being authentic about their sexuality. Based on person-centred theory, such incongruence between self and experience is the root of psychological maladjustment, which may explain the physical and mental health disparities faced by sexual minorities. Additionally, Carl Rogers proposed six necessary and sufficient facilitative conditions in a relationship that promote individuals to become more authentic and function better. So, can the facilitative conditions provided by same-sex partners promote authenticity and improve relationship quality for both parties?
To further explore this area, a dyadic study was conducted with 158 same-sex couples to examine the relationships between perceived facilitativeness (including Empathy, Congruence, and Unconditional positive regard) and relationship quality, and the mediating role of dispositional authenticity in these relationships. Actor-partner interdependence mediation models were used to analyze the data.
The study found that one’s dispositional authenticity and perceived facilitativeness are positively related to both one’s own and one’s partner’s perceived relationship quality. Additionally, the results indicate that individuals’ dispositional authenticity partially mediates the positive relationship between their perceived facilitativeness and relationship quality.
The results of this study offer additional support for Carl Rogers’ interpersonal theory in the context of same-sex couples. Specifically, they underscore the significance of empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard in fostering authenticity among individuals in same-sex relationships, ultimately leading to improved relationship quality.