Women Derive Psychological Benefits From Same-Sex Relationships, Alliant Study Finds

July 25, 2013 -- New research on the psychological benefits of same-sex marriage from the Rockway Institute for LGBT Psychology & Public Policy at Alliant International University has been selected for presentation at the American Psychological Association (APA) annual convention July 31-August 4 at the Hawai’i Convention Center in Honolulu.
 
The findings will be presented during the APA Convention symposium "Same-sex marriage: New research and implications for marriage policy."

“It is a testament to the growing influence of our institute and its staff that this research was accepted by the APA for its annual convention,” said Robert-Jay Green, Ph.D., executive director of the Rockway Institute in San Francisco.

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“This is a timely and controversial subject, given the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling that married same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits and declining to rule on California’s Prop. 8, effectively allowing same-sex marriages in that state.”

The Rockway Institute, a national center for LGBT psychology research, education and public policy, advances the use of scientific and professional expertise to counter anti-gay prejudice and inform public policies affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. It is an institute within the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) in the California-based Alliant International University system. Approximately 20 faculty members at CSPP have expertise in LGBT psychology.
 
The symposium, which will be chaired by Dr. Green, will explore same-sex partners’ desire for and support of marriage; whether psychological benefits of marriage apply to same-sex couples; and what distinguishes same-sex partners who marry from LGBTs in other relationship statuses.
 
Details and selected findings of one of the three research studies chosen for presentation in the symposium are as follows:
 
“Relationship status, social support, and depression in lesbian and heterosexual women,” presented by Dr. Green and CSPP doctoral student Erica S. Kornblith. For lesbians, subgroup comparisons (ANOVAs and post-hoc tests) revealed that single lesbians had significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms than married lesbians. Among heterosexuals, group comparisons indicated that single women experience higher levels of depression than married and cohabiting women. Married women report fewer depressive symptoms than single women, regardless of whether the women are lesbian or heterosexual.
 
The APA annual convention is the largest gathering of psychologists and psychology students in the world. The convention each year attracts 11,000 to 14,000 or more attendees from all areas of specialization in psychology and from research, practice, education and policy.
“Findings from our symposium will be entered into the official record of the convention and published in a variety of reports,” Dr. Green said. “We are honored to have been selected to participate this year. It adds a new level of stature to the California School of Professional Psychology and the Alliant International University system, and will enable us to attract leading academics in LGBT and related studies in the years ahead.”
 
The presentation will be held in room 237 of the Hawai'i Convention Center, level 3 on August 3, from 9 to 9:50 a.m.