Lesbian and Heterosexual Two-Parent Families: Adolescent-Parent Relationship Quality and Adolescent Well-being

By Henny M.W. Bos, Loes van Gelderen, Nanette Gartrell
February 2014

*Article published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies

Adolescents with continuously-coupled lesbian mothers had higher self-esteem and fewer conduct problems (such as rule-breaking, vandalism, or getting into fights ) than adolescents with continuously-coupled heterosexual parents. Across other indicators of psychological adjustment, substance usage, and relationships with their parents, the study found that adolescents from intact two-mother lesbian families were comparable to those from intact mother-father families.

The study compared 51 adolescents who have been participating in the Dutch Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (DLLFS) with a matched group of adolescents in heterosexual-parent families who were drawn from a large school-based survey in the Netherlands. The two groups of adolescents were matched on age, gender, educational level, country of birth, and parental birth country. By including only families with continuously-coupled parents, the study controlled for factors that might adversely affect outcomes, such as parental divorce.

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