top of page
Past Projects

Civil Union Project Longitudinal Enhanced Study (CUPPLES)

Principal Investigator: Kimberly F. Balsam, Ph.D

Co-Investigator: Esther Rothblum, Ph.D.

Other Investigators and Collaborators: Ellen Riggle, Ph.D., Sherry Rotosky, Ph.D., Ted Beauchaine, Ph.D., Robert Wickham, Ph.D., Lisa M. Brown, Ph.D., & Jennifer Clark, M.A.

Description: The CUPPLES study is a longitudinal study of same-sex and heterosexual couples that began in 2002, with subsequent data collection time points in 2005 and 2013-14. Originally called the Vermont Civil Union Project, this was the first study to examine same-sex couples in state-recognized relationships. The “civil union couples” will always be the first “legal” same-sex couples in the U.S. We are currently planning wave 4 of data collection in order to continue this longest running longitudinal study of same-sex and heterosexual couples in the U.S. At time 3, our sample was on average age 57, and thus we expect that at wave 4 the majority of our participants will be over 60 and facing issues of retirement, physical health concerns, and other developmental issues facing older adults. We are specifically interested in how our cohort will cope with the challenges that aging brings, individually and within their intimate partnerships.  Similar to our previous waves of data collection, we will look at gender and sexual orientation differences in these processes, as well as the role of minority stress and other life stressors on mental health and psychosocial functioning.  We will add measures of physical health and capitalize on the dyadic nature of our cohort by using partners to report on each other’s’ health and well-being.

For more information, please visit

Screen Shot 2019-07-21 at 11.05.42
bottom of page