Differences Between Partners From Heterosexual, Gay, and Lesbian Cohabiting Couples


Department of Psychology, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45435-0001 (larry.kurdek@wright.edu).


Partners from four types of couples without children (gay unmarried, lesbian unmarried, heterosexual unmarried, and heterosexual married, Ns=1,412, 1,310, 1,036, and 1,728, respectively) were compared to partners from heterosexual married couples with children (N =3,116) on mean levels of variables from a model of relationship adjustment as well as on the strength of links posited by the model. Although 82% of the mean-level comparisons were significant, only 36% of the comparisons had effect sizes that were at least small in strength. Type of couple affected links between variables in only 33% of the instances, with effect sizes trivial in strength. Findings support the view that despite variability in structure, close dyadic relationships work in similar ways.