Diane Holmberg, Professor Emerita

Email address: diane.holmberg@acadiau.ca


B.A. (Honours), University of Waterloo

M.A., University of Michigan

Ph.D., University of Michigan


I am a professor of social psychology whose primary research interests lie in the area of close relationships. Although I retired from Acadia in 2022, I am still actively involved in supervising students. I have four lines of collaboration with Dr. Karen Blair at Trent University. First, we are exploring the dynamics of social network approval / disapproval for relationships, and how those processes might vary depending on whether or not the relationship is potentially marginalized (e.g., same-sex, mixed-race, age-discrepant). Second, we are investigating the dynamics of affectionate touch between partners, and whether those processes vary depending on whether the affection is shared in public vs. private, and whether the couple is mixed-sex vs. same-sex / gender diverse. Third, we are studying memories of the coming-out process from the perspectives of both the individuals who came out and the parents they came out to, as well as how aspects of the coming out process might relate to well-being. Fourth, we are beginning to study factors that might predict sexual and/or gender identity fluidity in adulthood. I am also collaborating with Dr. Kathryn Bell at Acadia to investigate how individual-level psychological vulnerabilities (e.g., intolerance of uncertainty, difficulties with emotional regulation, chronic hypervigilance) might potentially shape relationship cognitions, behaviours, conflict, and aggression.


Blair, K.L., Hudson, C., & Holmberg, D. (2023). Walking hand in hand: The role of affection-sharing in understanding the social network effect in same-sex, mixed-sex, and gender-diverse relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Online first edition.

Blair, K.L., McKenna, O., & Holmberg, D. (2022). On guard: Public versus private affection-sharing experiences in same-sex, gender-diverse and mixed-sex relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 39(9), 2914-2938.

Gillian, S., Holmberg, D., Jenson, K., & Blair, K.L. (2022). Back off: Disapproval of romantic relationships predict closeness to disapproving network members. Personal Relationships, 29(3), 546-565.

Matheson, L., Ortiz, D. L., Hoskin, R. A., Holmberg, D., & Blair, K. L. (2021). The feminine target: Gender expression in same-sex relationships as a predictor of experiences with public displays of affection. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 30(2), 205-218.

Jenson, K., Holmberg, D., & Blair, K. L. (2021). Trust me, he’s not right for you: Factors predicting trust in network members’ disapproval of a romantic relationship. Psychology & Sexuality, 12(4), 345-361.


Honours Students

Zoey Chapman. Intolerance of uncertainty as a predictor of psychological aggression perpetration amongst LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. 2022-2023. (Co-supervised with K. M. Bell).

Haley Cross. Love in the pandemic: A model for predicting romantic relationship functioning, quality, and stability over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2022-2023. (Co-supervised with K. M. Bell).

Emma Herman. Happily, ever after? The relationship between stories of the low, high, and turning points of coming out and well-being. 2022-2023. (Co-supervised with K. L. Blair).

Kim Cadman. Psychological aggression and perceived support as predictors of psychological well-being in same-sex and mixed-sex relationships: A daily diary COVID study. 2021-2022. (Co-supervised with K. M. Bell).

Grace Holwell. Does who you live with matter? Exploring differences in relational and personal functioning by living arrangement during the COVID-19 pandemic. 2021-2022. (Co-supervised with K. L. Blair).

Nicola Irvin. Psychological aggression and daily prayer as predictors of psychological well-being over time. 2021-2022. (Co-supervised with K. M. Bell).

Abbey Miller. Does relationship-contingent self-esteem moderate the association between romantic relationship disapproval and well-being? 2020-2021. (Co-supervised with K. L. Blair).

Graduate Students

Tessa Cosman, Intolerance of uncertainty as a moderator of the association between threatening relationship uncertainty and maladaptive relationship outcomes. 2022-2024 (co-supervised with K. M. Bell).

Meaghan Hymers, Experiences of sexual fluidity and associated health outcomes: Towards a new model of understanding. 2022-2024 (co-supervised with K. L. Blair).

Olivia Cleary, Memories of parents’ reactions to coming out as LGBTQ+. 2021-2023 (co-supervised with K. L. Blair).

Courtney Gosselin, It’s okay: Factors that promote resilience in the face of need-thwarting memories in sexual minority individuals. 2020-2022 (co-supervised with K. L. Blair).

Marissa Walter, An examination of the frequency of affectionate touch and its health associations in interracial vs. intraracial relationships. 2019-2021 (co-supervised with K. L. Blair).

Chelsea Hudson, Perceived social support, public versus private displays of affection, and well-being outcomes in same-sex and mixed-sex relationships. 2018-2020 (co-supervised with K. L. Blair).