Health and Relationships Project, United States, 2014-2015 (ICPSR 37404)

Version Date: Jan 4, 2022 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Debra Umberson, University of Texas at Austin

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  • V2 [2022-01-04]
  • V1 [2019-09-17] unpublished
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The Health and Relationship Project is a study of both spouses in same-sex and different-sex marriages who were legally married and aged 35 to 65 at the time of data collection (2015). There are two parts of this study: a baseline questionnaire and a daily diary questionnaire completed for 10 consecutive days; both components were completed online and spouses were asked to complete the surveys separately. The baseline questionnaire asks participants about a number of topics related to marriage and health, including stress, health status and health behaviors, relationship quality, and how they have approached health problems in the past. The diary questionnaire asks participants a number of questions about the past 24 hours, including daily stress experiences, social interactions, and health behaviors.

Umberson, Debra. Health and Relationships Project, United States, 2014-2015. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2022-01-04.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (R21AG044585)


Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2014-10 -- 2015-09
2014-10 -- 2015-09
  1. Each couple was assigned a unique couple ID (CID) ranging from 101 to 777. Within each couple, each spouse was assigned a unique ID. RID represents an individual's unique ID. SID represents that individual's spouse's unique ID. In other words, within each couple, the RID and SID of the first spouse will correspond to the SID and RID of the second spouse.

  2. Additional information can be found on the Health and Relationships Project website.

The Health and Relationships Project aims to bring research on long-term marriage and health to a new level by looking at how individuals in different kinds of long-term relationships navigate the many different situations and contexts that contribute to their health. The goals of the study include influencing health policy and public health care through the development of policies and programs that result in more effective partner participation in health care and more efficient use of health care systems, and better training for doctors and other health care professionals on how to help spouses and partners support each other through illness or injury.

Couples would each fill out the initial online survey separately. Second, couples would separately fill out a series of short daily surveys each evening for 10 days.

All participants were legally married and had been living together for a minimum of three years at the time of the study. Couples were required to complete at least 6 of the 10 diary questionnaires to be included in the diary data, and 90% of participants completed all 10 days. The researchers asked spouses to complete all questionnaires separately.

Same-sex couples who married between 2004 and 2012 and were between the ages of 35 and 65 were identified through the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and invited to participate through letters mailed to their address. About 70% of same-sex couples were recruited in this way. Because of restrictions at the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records, different-sex couples were recruited using publicly available demographic city lists in Massachusetts. Cities were selected to match city locations of participating same-sex spouses. We used these lists to identify households with two adults between age 35 and 65, and invitations were sent to the addresses. About 40% of different-sex couples were recruited in this way.

Participating same-sex and different-sex couples were then asked to refer couples who met the study requirements. The remaining couples (30% of same-sex and 60% of different-sex couples) were recruited through referrals.


Couples in same-sex and different-sex marriages who were legally married and aged 35 to 65 at the time of data collection.

individuals, married couples


2022-01-04 This study has been updated to unmask the variable VIGEXMIN. Seven variables in the Baseline Data were also omitted in this update.



  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

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This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).