Multilevel modeling approaches to the study of LGBTQ-Parent families

Document Type

Book Chapter


This chapter discusses the challenges faced by researchers analyzing data from multiple family members, with a focus on couples. It provides an introduction to multilevel modeling (MLM), as well as discussing recent advances and limitations in this approach. MLM provides one of the more versatile and accessible approaches available to model couple and family data, and is increasingly being used by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) family scholars to examine data collected from two (or more) individuals nested within a couple or family. The chapter first discusses the role of multilevel modeling in family research, in general, and in examining dyadic (or paired) data, more specifically. It then explores some of the common difficulties encountered by scholars examining LGBTQ-parent family data. The chapter introduces the basic multilevel models available to researchers analyzing (a) cross-sectional and (b) longitudinal dyadic data. In addition, the chapter addresses the application of these models to analyses of multiple informant data, when multiple family members provide reports of the same outcome. Finally, the chapter briefly discusses some of the limitations to MLM and also suggests some of the available alternatives to MLM (such as structural equation modeling and generalized estimating equations).

Publication Title

LGBTQ-Parent Families: Innovations in Research and Implications for Practice

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couple data, data, dyad, dyadic, LGBTQ family data, longitudinal, longitudinal dyadic analysis, multilevel, multilevel modeling, quantitative methods