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Ageing and lesbian, gay and bisexual relationships

al, Dylan Kneale et and Kneale, Dylan (2014) Ageing and lesbian, gay and bisexual relationships. Working with Older People.

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Abstract

Working with Older People, Volume 18, Issue 3, August 2014. Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore how minority stress and the experience of societal level hostility towards Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) people and their relationships may have impacted upon their relationships and relationship histories. Design/methodology/approach This paper introduced the minority stress framework and examines the relationship histories of a small cohort aged 50 at the last sweep of data collection. Findings The minority stress framework states that societal level hostility will lead to unequal treatment and psychological distress among minority groups, which could impact on their relationships histories. In these data, those people we identify as being LGB were significantly more likely to have had a higher number of cohabiting partnerships, were less likely to have had longer-term cohabiting relationships, and were less likely to be in a relationship at age 50. This is despite LGB people placing an equal importance on partnership and marriage. These results are accompanied by caveats, but we conclude that if minority stress does impact upon relationships, it is upon the stability and length of relationships. Practical implications Compared to older LGB couples, opposite sex couples, are more likely to have been in receipt of peer and especially familial support for their relationship, particularly around times of relationship crisis. Additionally, for those same sex couples that did approach professional sources of support, such as couple counselling, heteronormative and even hostile attitudes from counselling providers may have meant that experienced and informed support was not available when needed. The findings therefore pose a challenge to service providers to ensure that relationship support and allied services are available and adapted to meet the needs of older LGB people, whose previous contacts with these service providers may have been substantially less than positive, and whose need for relationship support may be greater. Originality/value The needs of older LGB people and their relationships are often overlooked. The use of a small sample of cohort data to examine these issues provides new insight into the way in which older LGB people may age differently to non-LGB people.

Item Type: Article
Controlled Keywords: disability
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2014 10:16
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 09:13
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