Researching age-dissimilar couples and romantic relationships: A qualitative study

Research output: Other contribution


Age-dissimilar, heterosexual couplings have recently been a popular topic in magazine and newspaper articles, online, and in television and film. Yet, qualitative research into such relationships remains rare. The study discussed in this methods case is one of very few qualitative examinations of such couples. Prior studies, based on quantitative methods, often assume that the growing commonality and acceptance of age-dissimilar couples suggests a shift to greater autonomy in partner selection. My research challenges such assumptions, and broader associations of modern relationships with autonomy.

Undertaken as a PhD project in Perth, Western Australia, this research utilized semi-structured interviews, focus groups, media analysis, and surveys, all of which allowed me to examine how the romantic relationships of age-dissimilar couples were understood. Describing and reflecting on the research process, this methods case explores the problems and possibilities of undertaking interviews and focus groups in anthropological and sociological research on age-dissimilar couples and couple relationships more broadly. I pay particular attention to the various methods of interviewing couples, issues of couple recruitment, and interactions of age, gender, and power in undertaking qualitative research.
Original languageEnglish
TypeResearch Methods Case
Media of outputOnline
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameSAGE Research Methods Cases
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd

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