Participate in Research
The Family Research Center is currently looking for participants for their Loveallways Study.
Loveallways Study at a Glance
The Loveallways Study is a five-year project in which we want to understand how relationships grow, change, and shift in the newlywed years for LGBTQ+ couples.
We will monitor couples’ health, well-being, and stress levels, as well as have conversations with them to understand key experiences, during the first two years of marriage.
If you are a newly married LGBTQ+ couple and are interested in being involved, you can complete a short interest form.
Participating in the Loveallways Study
Same-sex marriage is relatively new in the United States and is very understudied. The Loveallways Study is meant to increase our understanding of LGBTQ+ couples’ marriages, through listening to newlywed's stories, documenting their experiences, and tracking their personal health and well-being.
There are decades of research showing how marriage benefits heterosexual couples, but there is no such research looking at same sex marriages. We want to change that.
- Does marriage improve long-term health and prevent stress for LGBTQ+ couples, like it does for heterosexual couples?
- We know all marriages have ups and downs, but what are those ups and downs for LGBTQ+ couples?
- What are their biggest joys?
- What challenges are they facing?
- How are those moments impacting their health and wellbeing?
We plan to uncover all this and more through the Loveallways Study. The Loveallways Study will explore how these newlywed years unfold for LGBTQ+ couples using multiple, innovative scientific approaches.
If you enroll in the study, you will participate for two years. You can also participate from anywhere in the United States. All of the study activities will be done remotely, so you can participate right from the comfort of your own home.
You will be asked to complete a series of surveys that will include questionnaires on your relationship, your stress, and your health and well-being. You will receive six surveys to complete over the two years. These surveys will help us understand what changes for you during your marriage, what helps make marriage for LGBTQ+ couples happy and strong, as well as what challenges couples might face during the beginning of their marriage.
You could also be asked to complete three separate interviews over Zoom with the research team during their first year in the study. These interviews will let us understand more in-depth what your early marriage experiences are like through conversations with you.
You could also be asked to complete short daily surveys for two weeks and provide several saliva samples. The surveys and samples will allow us to look at your day-to-day experiences in your life and with your spouse, as well as your stress hormones, to better understand what happens in the body during early marriage in everyday life.
You and your spouse will be paid individually for every part of the study you are asked to be involved in (i.e., for every survey or every interview).
Perhaps most importantly, we want you to feel safe and comfortable sharing your newlywed experiences, including all the ups and downs that come with the first two years of marriage. We want to hear from you, whatever that may mean and however that may evolve, each time we check in over the two years. There’s also no requirement that you and your spouse stay together for the whole two years. If you break up, we still really value hearing from just you.
Anything personal you share will be with experienced, sensitive, and highly trained researchers (read more about our team below!). Your individual identity or identifying data collected during study activities will not be shared in any academic or public reports.
We’re here to listen to you with respect, with our goal being to gain knowledge and understanding of the joys, challenges, and health impacts of marriage for LGBTQ+ couples in the U.S. today.
The "how do I get involved?"
To let us know you’re interested in being involved and to help us see if the study is a good fit for you, please have you and your spouse fill out this short, 2-minute interest survey (link below). You may be eligible if you and your spouse both identify as LGBTQ+, are in your first marriage, and got married in the last six months.
The study team is led by researchers at the University of Denver, along with collaborators at the University of Utah, University of Colorado Denver, University of Southern California, Yale University, and the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. The study is supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health (R01MD018167).
Nicholas Perry (he/him), PhD is a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Denver and a licensed clinical psychologist. He completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Utah and his postdoctoral training at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Currently, he is faculty in the Family Research Center, where he leads studies focused on LGBTQ+ couples' and families’ health, as well as programs that can help improve health and strengthen relationships for the LGBTQ+ community.
Dominique Harlan (she/her), BA, is a project coordinator at the University of Denver’s Family Research Center. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Colorado Denver, where she double majored in Psychology and Ethnic Studies. She is passionate about trauma psychology. This was an area of interest that was solidified during her time at the University of Colorado Denver as she sought to understand the multi-faceted experiences of racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S., along with how racism and inequity are systemically upheld and compounded. As a result, she is interested in continuing to explore the vastness of trauma psychology and how it can be applied to other social positions, including sexual and gender minorities.