The Association of Couplehood and Parenthood with the Hedonic and Eudaimonic Well-Being of Older Gay Men

Geva Shenkman*, Kfir Ifrah, Dov Shmotkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study explored the associations of couplehood (being in a romantic relationship) and parenthood (being a parent) with the hedonic and eudaimonic well-being of aging gay men in Israel. For that purpose, a sample of 121 older gay men (aged 60–84, M = 66.86, SD = 7.02) was recruited through a targeted sampling. Participants completed questionnaires assessing their hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Results indicated that older gay men in a romantic relationship, compared to older gay men who were not in a romantic relationship, reported greater hedonic well-being (higher life satisfaction alongside lower negative affect and depressive symptoms) and eudaimonic well-being (higher purpose in life). Additionally, older gay men who were fathers, compared to older gay men who were not fathers, reported greater hedonic well-being (higher positive affect and life satisfaction alongside lower negative affect and depressive symptoms) and eudaimonic well-being (higher purpose in life and personal growth). The study contributes to the scant literature on the factors associated with well-being among older gay men. It also provides researchers, practitioners and policy makers with vital information on the potential contribution of couplehood and parenthood to the well-being of a sexual minority whose access to marriage and parenthood was, and still is, limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1419-1437
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Funding

FundersFunder number
Minerva Center on Intersectionality in Aging
Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research

    Keywords

    • Eudaimonic well-being
    • Gay fathers
    • Hedonic well-being
    • Israel
    • Older gay men

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