Disparities in health and disability among older adults in same-sex cohabiting relationships

Gilbert Gonzales, Carrie E Henning-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective: The present study compared indicators of impaired health and disability between older adults in same-sex cohabiting relationships and their peers in opposite-sex cohabiting relationships. Method: Data were obtained on men (n = 698) and women (n = 630) aged 50 years and older and in self-reported same-sex relationships from the National Health Interview Survey. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to estimate differences in physical health, mental health, and disability status. Results: Compared with their peers in married opposite-sex relationships, older men in same-sex relationships exhibited greater odds of psychological distress, and older women in same-sex relationships experienced elevated odds of poor/fair health, needing help with activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living, functional limitations, and psychological distress. Discussion: This study adds to the limited information on health and disability among older lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults. As this population grows, gerontologists must develop a better understanding of the unique issues and challenges facing them and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-453
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of aging and health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 20 2015


  • and bisexual (LGB)
  • discrimination
  • gay
  • lesbian
  • minority health
  • stigma

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