Using the 2011–2012 National Survey of Children's Health data set, we compared spouse/partner relationships and parent-child relationships (family relationships), parenting stress, and children's general health, emotional difficulties, coping behavior, and learning behavior (child outcomes) in households of same-sex (female) versus different-sex continuously coupled parents with biological offspring. We assessed whether associations among family relationships, parenting stress, and child outcomes were different in the 2 household types.
Parental and child characteristics were matched for 95 female same-sex parent and 95 different-sex parent households with children 6 to 17 years old. One parent per household was interviewed by telephone. Multivariate analyses of variance and multiple linear regressions were conducted.
No differences were observed between household types on family relationships or any child outcomes. Same-sex parent households scored higher on parenting stress (95% confidence interval = 2.03–2.30) than different-sex parent households (95% confidence interval = 1.76–2.03), p = .006. No significant interactions between household type and family relationships or household type and parenting stress were found for any child outcomes.
Children with female same-sex parents and different-sex parents demonstrated no differences in outcomes, despite female same-sex parents reporting more parenting stress. Future studies may reveal the sources of this parenting stress.
*Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands;
†Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY;
‡Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA.
Address for reprints: Henny M. W. Bos, PhD, Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 127, 1018 WS, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; e-mail: H.M.W.Bos@uva.nl.
Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
See the related Commentary “Moving Beyond Anti-LGBT Politics” by Nathaniel Frank on page 245. See the video abstract from the authors at JDBP.org.
Received November , 2015
Accepted January , 2016