Married LGBT Couples are Happier, Healthier

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Photo credit: Flickr

A recent study has found that married adults in the LGBT community are reportedly happier and healthier than singles of the same demographics.

Those legally married reported better quality of life and more economic and social resources than unmarried partnered. Physical health indicators were similar between legally married and unmarried partnered.

Singles reported poorer health and fewer resources than legally married and unmarried partnered.

Among the women in the study, those who were married were more likely to report experiencing micro-aggressions in the larger community.

These results came from an extensive survey conducted by the University of Washington School of Social Work. national, longitudinal study with a representative sample of LGBT older adults, known as Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, Sexuality/Gender Study (NHAS), which focuses on how historical, environmental, psychological, behavioral, social and biological factors are associated with health, aging and quality of life.

 The survey included nearly 2,000 participants who resided in states with legalized same-sex marriage in 2014. Of the participants, 24 percent were legally married, and 26 percent were unmarried partnered and 50 percent were single.

 In a press release, research study supervisor of the UW School of Social Work Jayn Goldsen emphasized studying older members of the LGBT community to better gauge their needs in terms of public policy.

“Service providers need to understand the historical context of this population,” she said. “In the nearly 50 years since Stonewall, same-sex marriage went from being a pipe dream to a legal quagmire to reality — and it may be one of the most profound changes to social policy in recent history.”

Goldsen and her colleagues concluded that LGBT older adults, and practitioners serving them, should better educate themselves regarding policies and protections related to age and sexual and gender identity.

The researchers also encouraged further research as to how legalized same-sex marriage fits into the context of LGBT older adults’ lives.

The study determined more research is needed to understand factors contributing to decisions to marry, including short- and long-term economic, social, and health outcomes associated with legal marriage among LGBT older adults.

Over time, Goldsen and colleagues will continue to examine the influence of same-sex marriage policy on partnership status and health.

This post was written by Casie Wilson. Follow her on Twitter @casiedwilson

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