The health perspectives of Australian adolescents from same-sex parent families: A mixed methods study Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Research involving adolescents from same-sex parent families provides an important contribution to the evidence base on their health, well-being and the impact of stigma. To date reports on the perspectives of adolescents with same-sex attracted parents have been limited. This study aimed to describe the multidimensional experiences of physical, mental and social well-being of adolescents living in this context.A mixed methods study of adolescents with same-sex attracted parents comprising of an adolescent-report survey of 10- to 17-year-olds and family interviews with adolescents and their parents. Data were collected in 2012 and 2013 as part of the Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families.The findings from qualitative interviews with seven adolescents and responses to an open-ended survey question (n = 16) suggest four themes: perceptions of normality, positive concepts of health, spheres of life (including family, friends and community) and avoiding negativity. The quantitative sample of adolescents with same-sex attracted parents (n = 35) reported higher scores than population normative data on the dimensions general health and family activities within the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ) as well as higher on the peer problems scale on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Perceived stigma correlates with lower health and well-being overall.Positive health outcomes are informed by the ways adolescents conceptualize health and how they construct their spheres of life. Peer relationships, and community perspectives of same-sex families, inform perceived stigma and its correlation with poorer health and well-being. Although adolescents see their families as essentially normal they are negatively affected by external societal stigma.

authors

publication date

  • 2015