Conducting research among older lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults

Arnold H. Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gerontologists and developmental researchers have neglected the study of sexual orientation among older adults. The apparent assumptions are either that it does not exist or that it is not necessary to know; consequently, older lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults remain invisible groups with the exception of a relatively small number of studies using convenience samples. This article examines some conceptual, practical and ethical challenges involved in designing and conducting research among older LGB adults. The limitations and emphases of extant research and the challenges in conducting such research are examined. The design of two studies that focused on mental and physical health and on care-giving among older LGB adults are discussed to suggest ways of meeting the challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-67
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Aging
  • Bisexual
  • Gay
  • Lesbian
  • Mental health
  • Older
  • Physical health
  • Research methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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