When marriage equality became legal in 2015, more gay men started getting married. With minimal research on qualities leading to perceived marital success, mental health professionals could not offer guidance on strengthening marital satisfaction for these couples. Further, gay men had few gay role models for marital success to provide guidance and insights. To help address this lack of research, this dissertation focused on how gay men fostered marital success.
In this study, constructivist grounded theory was utilized to flexibly examine and analyze the qualities that lead to perceived marital success for eight married gay men from across the United States. Two rounds of interviews were conducted to gather narrative data and distinguish categories and properties that captured the success characteristics identified through participants lived experiences.
Findings indicate that gay men feel successful when their relationship needs and feelings of belongingness are satisfied, and they have the ability to dexterously apply relationship skills to build a strong relationship framework while working as a team to overcome potential barriers. Parenting, feelings of security, and negotiating sexual agreements were important relationship experiences for these couples.
Mental health professionals who are looking to help married gay men should consider the individual histories, environmental supports available, communication style, and the dyadic aspirations for these couples. Future research should focus on ethnic and socioeconomic diversity, and researchers should investigate marital success for couples whose marriages were not preceded by ceremonial commitments or legally binding partnerships. These parameters would expand the scope of generalizability.
|Commitee:||Khamsi, Stephen, Preston, Jennifer|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social psychology, LGBTQ studies, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Gay men, LGBTQ, Marital success, Marriage, Satisfaction, Success|
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