Sociology, Department of


First Advisor

G. Robin Gauthier

Date of this Version



Thor, Craig. 2020. "Relationship Quality in Kin and Chosen Kin Familial Networks." M.A. thesis, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE.


A THESIS Presented to the faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Sociology, Under the Supervision of Professor G. Robin Gauthier. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2020

Copyright 2020 Craig Thor


Family relationships are sources of both stress and support for most individuals. They are also among the most resilient, offering support through long periods of conflict. Growing scholarly research on LGB families demonstrates that LGB individuals face greater levels of conflict, which stems from a lack of acceptance of their identities. As of yet, little work has directly compared LGB familial relationships to heterosexual family relationships. This study seeks to fill this gap by comparing the relationship characteristics of LGB and heterosexual individuals using network data drawn from the Nebraska Annual Social Indicators Survey (2018 and 2019). I employed multilevel logistic regression models to estimate the relationship between sexuality and characteristics of familial relationships. I measured relationship characteristics in two ways: perceived closeness and the presence of conflict. Analysis reveals few differences between the relationships of LGB and heterosexual individuals. LGB individuals experience feeling less emotionally close to their biological kin than heterosexual individuals but are equally close.

Advisor: G. Robin Gauthier

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