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Dissertation

Family cohesion in lesbian and gay parented families: An investigation of subgroup differences based on how lesbian and gay parented families have children

13 April 2012

Abstract

Two broad categories of lesbian and gay (LG) parented families with varying experiences of developing and maintaining family cohesion are generally recognized in the literature. The first group is comprised of LG parented families who have biological children from previous heterosexual relationships prior to identifying as LG. The second group is comprised of LG parented families who have children via adoption, donor insemination (DI), or surrogacy arrangements after identifying as LG. Quantifiable differences in level of family cohesion between these two groups were herein examined, and it was hypothesized that those in the latter group experienced higher levels of family cohesion. Two participants provided informed consent, answered demographic questionnaires, and completed the FACES IV measure. Small sample size and lack of distribution across cells precluded meaningful statistical comparison. However, examination of descriptive statistics revealed that participants were found to evaluate their families as having high levels of family cohesion. Furthermore, participants evaluated their families to have high levels of healthy and balanced ways to relate to one another (i.e., balanced cohesion) while being low on extreme and unhealthy ways to relate to one another (i.e., disengagement, enmeshment). Recommendations for future research, including improved sample recruitment and implications are discussed.


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