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RELATIONSHIP SATISFACTION, AFFECTIVITY, AND GAY-SPECIFIC STRESSORS IN SAME-SEX COUPLES JOINED IN CIVIL UNIONS

Authors


  • Jelica Todosijevic, Department of Psychology, University of Vermont; Esther D. Rothblum, Department of Psychology, University of Vermont; Sondra E. Solomon, Department of Psychology, University of Vermont.

  • This study was funded by the Gill Foundation, the Scrivner Award of the American Psychological Foundation, and the University Committee on Research and Scholarship of the University of Vermont.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Esther D. Rothblum, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, John Dewey Hall, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405-0134. E-mail: esther.rothblum@uvm.edu

Abstract

Relationship satisfaction, affect, and stress were examined in 313 same-sex couples who had had civil unions in Vermont during the first year of this legislation. Similarity between partners on age and on positive/negative affectivity was related to relationship satisfaction whereas there was no association with similarity in income, education, and outness. Lesbian couples (n= 199), compared to gay male couples, reported experiencing more stress related to family reaction to their sexuality, whereas gay male couples (n= 114) reported more stress surrounding the issues of HIV/AIDS and violence/harassment than did lesbian couples. This study is the first to examine within-couple factors among same-sex couples with legalized relationships.

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