Relationship formalization and individual and relationship well-being among same-sex couples
Although legal recognition of same-sex relationships has received considerable attention in recent years, we know little about the effects of legal recognition (e.g., domestic partnership) and social recognition (e.g., a public ceremony) on same-sex couples. We conducted an Internet survey of 239 Californians in same-sex relationships, including a randomly selected subsample of individuals from the California Domestic Partnership Registry. Social recognition was associated with life satisfaction and relationship satisfaction, but was unrelated to relationship investments. Legal recognition was associated with investments, but was unrelated to life and relationship satisfaction. In addition, we found some support for the hypothesis that relationship formalization moderates links between gay-related stress (e.g., internalized homophobia) and individual and relationship outcomes.
Fingerhut, A. W., & Maisel, N. C. (2010). Relationship formalization and individual and relationship well-being among same-sex couples. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27, 956-969. DOI: 10.1177/0265407510376253