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Stigmatization associated with growing up in a lesbian-parented family: What do adolescents experience and how do they deal with it?


  • van Gelderen, Loes
  • Gartrell, Nanette
  • Bos, Henny M.W.
  • van Rooij, Floor B.
  • Hermanns, Jo M.A.


The purpose of the current qualitative study was to investigate whether adolescents in American planned lesbian families experienced negative reactions from their social environment associated with their mothers' sexual orientation, and if so, to explore the nature of these experiences. In addition, the focus was on the coping strategies as described by the adolescents themselves. Results revealed that half of the 78 participating 17-years-olds had experienced homophobic stigmatization. Such experiences usually took place within the school context and peers were most frequently mentioned as the source. The adolescents used adaptive strategies (such as optimism) more frequently than maladaptive strategies (such as avoidance) to cope with these negative experiences. Our results suggest that intervention programs focused on family diversity should be developed for school children of all ages since the stigmatization experienced by the studied adolescents typically happened in that context.

Suggested Citation

  • van Gelderen, Loes & Gartrell, Nanette & Bos, Henny M.W. & van Rooij, Floor B. & Hermanns, Jo M.A., 2012. "Stigmatization associated with growing up in a lesbian-parented family: What do adolescents experience and how do they deal with it?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 999-1006.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:5:p:999-1006 DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.01.048

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kim, Min-Jung & Doh, Hyun-Sim & Hong, Jun Sung & Choi, Mi-Kyung, 2011. "Social skills training and parent education programs for aggressive preschoolers and their parents in South Korea," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 838-845, June.
    2. Hong, Jun Sung & Kim, Seon Mi & Yoshihama, Mieko & Byoun, Soo-Jung, 2010. "Wife battering in South Korea: An ecological systems analysis," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 1623-1630, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wendy Manning & Marshal Fettro & Esther Lamidi, 2014. "Child Well-Being in Same-Sex Parent Families: Review of Research Prepared for American Sociological Association Amicus Brief," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 33(4), pages 485-502, August.


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