February 9, 2008

Gay and Lesbian Family Project

In January 2008, each student in FSoS 5014, Introduction to Quantitative Family Research Methods, was asked to summarize and evaluate information about a secondary data set used in the family field. The following summary was prepared by Chelsea Petree.

• This longitudinal study investigated different aspects of gay and lesbian couples. Questions cover topics such as commitment, relationship satisfaction and values, communication, and partner annoyances.

• Principal investigator: Larry Kurdek

• There were three waves of data collection:
-Wave 1: 1986-89
-Wave 2: 1990-93
-Wave 3: 1994-97

• Participants:
-Wave 1: 80 gay and 53 lesbian couples who lived together without children
-Wave 2: 75 gay and 51 lesbian couples who lived together without children
-Wave 3: 57 gay and 54 lesbian couples who lived together without children

• Surveys were sent by mail in all waves

• Strengths of the study:
-Surveys cover a large range of relationship topics
-Gathers information for both partners of the couple

• Weaknesses of the study:
-Data is over ten years old
-Most questions are applicable to couples of all sexual orientations-it misses some factors specific to gay and lesbian couples

• The data is available through the Henry A. Murray Research Archive (www.murray.harvard.edu). There is an online subset of data and a downloadable full data set.

• This data is can be useful when looking closely at gay and lesbian couples, especially when looking how aspects of gay and lesbian relationships are similar and different to heterosexual relationships.

Posted by hgroteva at February 9, 2008 2:03 PM