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Study: Children from Intact Two-Mom Families Have Higher Self-esteem, Fewer Conduct Problems than Those from Intact Mom-Dad ones

in UNITED STATES, 02/03/2014

A new study has found that adolescents with lesbian moms had higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of conduct problems compared with peers in families that have a mom and a dad. Importantly, this is the first study to compare adolescent–parent relationships and well-being in families where the parents — both lesbian and straight — were all continuously coupled.

This is key to combating some of the apples-to-oranges comparisons that have plagued right-wing analyses of lesbian and gay parenting — and seems perfectly timed to help fight a federal case that starts today.

The research, published in the current issue of the Journal of Child and Family Studies, was conducted by Henny Bos and Loes van Gelderen of the University of Amsterdam and Nanette Gartrell, all of whom are Visiting Scholars at UCLA’s Williams Institute. They first chose 51 adolescents from the Dutch Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (DLLFS), the longest-running and largest prospective study of lesbian mothers and their children in the Netherlands (based on the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), about which more here). Then they matched them on age, gender, educational level, country of birth, and parental birth country with a group of adolescents from mom-dad families, taken from a large school-based survey in the Netherlands.

By looking only at families where the parents had been continuously coupled, they eliminated variation that might have crept in to previous studies that variously included single-parent, two-parent, separated, and stepparent families. “It is important to control for family type, family stability, and parental self-identification (i.e., if LGBT, for how long) when comparing offspring in lesbian and heterosexual families,” the paper states.

Read more.

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