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Just Deal With It: Married Same-Sex Couples Deal Better With Stress

Male Couple

A new study shows that married same-sex couples are more collaborative.

A study from the researchers at University of Texas at Austin, and published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, found some important differences in how same-sex and opposite-sex couples deal with stress.

Although stress is common in all sorts of marriages, researchers found that same-sex married couples, because they are generally more collaborative than their opposite-sex counterparts, are able to deal with stress better together.

There were 419 couples who answered a survey on dyadic (paired) coping, and the analysis revealed the differences. Researchers have concluded this comes from a link between gender and coping strategies.

The study author, Yiwen Wang, said, "This research shows that while there are some gender differences in dyadic coping efforts, the effects of supportive and collaborative dyadic coping as well as of negative dyadic coping on marital quality are the same for all couples."

"Our findings also emphasise the importance of coping as a couple for marital quality across different relationship contexts, which can be an avenue through which couples work together to strengthen relationship wellbeing."

Wang theorizes the reason both male and female same-sex couples work better collaboratively stems from similarities in stress response as well as shared experiences that are gender-specific.

"Same-sex couples face unique stressors related to discrimination and stigma," says Debra Umberson, Wang's co-author, who points out that same-sex couples are less likely to have the same support straight couples may have. "Coping as a couple may be especially important for them as they do not receive as much support from extended family, friends or institutions as different-sex couples do."

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