Show Summary Details
Page of

(p. 109) What We Know (And Don’t Know) About the Bereavement Experiences of Same-Sex Spouses 

(p. 109) What We Know (And Don’t Know) About the Bereavement Experiences of Same-Sex Spouses
Chapter:
(p. 109) What We Know (And Don’t Know) About the Bereavement Experiences of Same-Sex Spouses
Author(s):

Rachel Donnelly

, Corinne Reczek

, and Debra Umberson

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190635176.003.0007
Page of

date: 16 January 2019

The death of a spouse is an involuntary form of relationship dissolution with deleterious health consequences for the surviving partner. Yet, to date, researchers have not examined widowhood experiences of individuals in same-sex marriages. Past research shows that spousal caregiving during illness and end-of-life planning shapes the bereavement experience for different-sex couples. Thus this chapter reviews literature on midlife caregiving, illness experiences, and end-of-life planning to provide clues about how bereavement experiences might unfold for spouses in same-sex marriages. We further provide an empirical analysis of caregiving and illness using dyadic survey data collected from same- and different-sex spouses. Our results show that same-sex married couples report receiving the most care from spouses during past health events and have the most confidence in their spouse to provide adequate care in the future. Evidence on caregiving and end-of-life experiences points to future directions for research on bereaved same-sex spouses.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Clinical Psychology requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.