Victimization, social support, and psychosocial functioning among children of same-sex and opposite-sex couples in the United Kingdom

Dev Psychol. 2008 Jan;44(1):127-34. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.44.1.127.


To further develop an understanding of psychological and social functioning of children raised by lesbian couples, the authors compared 18 students ages 12-16 raised in families led by female same-sex couples, who were identified from a large school-based survey, with 18 matched students raised by opposite-sex couples and the general student sample. Comparisons were made on factors including victimization, social support, and psychological functioning. Results indicate that those students raised by female same-sex couples did not differ significantly from those raised by opposite-sex couples or the general student sample in terms of reports of victimization, psychological functioning, experience of common adolescent concerns, or prospective use of support outlets provided by family and peers. However, children of same-sex couples reported significantly less likelihood of using school-based support than did children of opposite-sex couples or the general student sample. Findings indicate the need for school administrators, teachers, and psychologists to be knowledgeable of and provide appropriate support and resources for these children. Additional implications for research and application are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Heterosexuality / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology
  • Sexual Partners / psychology
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Social Support*
  • Students / psychology
  • Teaching
  • United Kingdom