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

40 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

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was funded in part by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the State Health Access Data Assistance Center, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Division of Health Policy & Management (Grant 65902). The authors are also thankful for support from the Minnesota Population Center (5R24HD041023), funded through grants from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2014.


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


Dive into the research topics of 'Disparities in health and disability among older adults in same-sex cohabiting relationships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this