Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology

Committee Chair

Daniel S. McKitrick, Ph.D.


Lesbian mothers face challenges that are unique from those experienced by any other group. The have more options for conception than do gay males and face social pressures and judgments that heterosexual parents do not. These mothers also tend to construct families in ways that defy the cultural norms under which heterosexual families labor. Thus, in addition to unique challenges and a bewildering set of choices, they may have distinctive options and strengths available to them. This thesis comprises a comprehensive critical review of research on these strengths and stressors, focusing on information useful in the clinical setting. Weaknesses in authors’ conclusions and in the research studies have been noted, and future directions of inquiry and clinical implementation suggested.