Uniform TitleA study on gay and lesbian intergenerational relationships: a test of the solidarity model
NameKoller, Jeanne Marie (author), LaSala, Michael (chair), Glasser, Paul (internal member), Chung-Huang, Chien (internal member), Giarrusso, Roseann (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
DescriptionAlthough a growing literature exists on gay and lesbian couples and their children, little research has been conducted investigating the social support systems of this emerging new type of family unit. Social support is known to be very important to individual, couple, and family functioning. It can be argued that social support is particularly important for gay and lesbian parents due to societal stigma for their lifestyles and disapproval of their choices to become parents.
This quantitative study of 245 self-identified gay, lesbian, and heterosexual participants examined the relationships of gay and lesbian parents with family and friends and compared them to those of gay and lesbian nonparents, as well as to those of the heterosexual parents and nonparents. This analysis was done in order to assess support systems among different type of couples.
The results showed that parents (regardless of sexual orientation) seemed to live closer to their own parents and received and provided more help to family members. The findings that gay and lesbian parents were so similar to heterosexual parents on these variables lend support to a hypothesis of the study that parenthood can bring gays and lesbians closer to their own parents.
Nonparents (regardless of sexual orientation) seemed to receive and provide more help to friends than the parents groups, and lesbian nonparent couples tended to have the strongest connections with friends. The issue of gender played a probable role in these results, with women having stronger connections than men with their friends in each of these measures.
Finally, interesting results emerged about gay parents. The gay male parents seemed to have stronger connections with family than the other gay and lesbian couples. It could be that gay men seeking parenthood may be a unique group with already strong family ties and desires for parenthood. Overall, this study's findings have practice implications and also provide direction for future research regarding parenthood, sexual orientation, and the importance of social support.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 247-263).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.