Website Featured Project Summer 2020 - Same-sex Unions and Health


Title: Same-sex Unions and Health

Primary Investigator

Rin Reczek, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

Project Description

Relationships are fundamental to our health. But most research focuses on the health of adults and children in different-sex households. This project is innovative in that it is among the first to use population-based nationally representative survey data (National Health Interview Survey) to compare the health of adults and children in same-sex and different-sex households.

In a series of papers, the Same-Sex Unions and Health project shows that children in same- and different-sex married households have similar physical, emotional, and behavioral health. Children in married households, regardless of sex composition, fare better than children in cohabiting households. Similarly, adults who are married have better health than cohabiting adults; this is true for people in both same-sex and different-sex households. Together, these studies show that kids and adults in same-sex households are not health-disadvantaged, but rather it is the cohabiting who face the most serious health hindrances.

Recent Publications 

Reczek, C., Spiker, Russell, Liu, H., Crosnoe, R. (2016) “Same-sex Households and Child Health: A National Population-Based Study.” Demography, 53(5), 1605-1630.

                        **Winner of the IPUMS Research Award, 2016

            **Honorable mention, Freidson Award from the ASA Medical Sociology Section, 2017

Reczek, C., Spiker, R.*, Liu, H., Crosnoe, R. (2017) “The Promise and Perils of Population Research on Same-sex Families.” Demography 54(6), 2385-2397

Reczek, C. (2020) “Gender and Sexual Minority Families: A 2010-2020 Decade in Review” Journal of Marriage and Family, 82(1): 300-325.

Reczek, C., Liu, H., and Spiker, R.* (2017) “Self-Rated Health at the Intersection of SexualIdentity and Union Status.” Social Science Research, 63:242–252

Reczek, C., Liu, H., and Brown, D.* (2014). Cigarette Smoking in Same-sex and Different-sex Unions:  The Role of Socioeconomic and Psychological Factors. Population Research and Policy Review, 33(4), 527-551.

External Funding

2013-2016     “Relationships and Health: Comparing Union Types.” Role: Co-Investigator. National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging, R21 mechanism (PI: Debra Umberson 1R21AG044585-01A1) [awarded $239,955 direct costs]

2014-2016     “Same-sex Family Structures and Child Health: The Role of Family Resources.” Role: Lead Principal Investigator. NICHD, NIH (1R03HD078754-01A1; CoPI: Hui Liu) [awarded $100,000 direct costs]

2018-2022     “Mechanisms Underlying Sexual Minority Health Disparities in the United States.” Role: Co-Investigator. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD), NIH, R01 (1R01HD094081-01A1; PI: Kamp Dush)

IPR Seed Grants

2015-2017  “Parent and Child Health across the Transition to Adulthood.” Institute for Population Research, The Ohio State University. Seed Grant, Principal Investigator

2019-2020  “Motherhood Biographies and Midlife Women’s Health.” Institute for Population Research, The Ohio State University. Principal Investigator