Perceptions of stigma and self-reported school engagement in same-sex couples with young children
Little research has explored same-sex parents’ school engagement, although there is some evidence that same-sex parents’ perceptions of openness versus exclusion in the school setting—as well as other interrelated contexts—may have implications for their relationships with and perceptions of their children’s schools. The current cross-sectional study used multilevel modeling to examine the relationship between same-sex parents’ perceptions of stigma in various contexts and their self-reported school involvement, relationships with teachers, and school satisfaction, using a sample of 68 same-sex adoptive couples (132 parents) of kindergarten-age children. Parents who perceived their communities as more homophobic reported higher levels of school-based involvement. Parents who perceived lower levels of sexual orientation-related stigma at their children’s schools reported higher levels of school satisfaction. Parents who perceived lower levels of exclusion by other parents reported higher levels of school-based involvement and better relationships with teachers. However, perceived exclusion interacted with parents’ level of “outness” with other parents, such that parents who were very out and reported high levels of exclusion reported the lowest quality relationships with teachers. Our findings have implications for scholars who study same-sex parent families at various stages of the life cycle, as well as for teachers and other professionals who work with diverse families.
Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Goldberg, Abbie E. and Smith, Juli Anna Z., "Perceptions of stigma and self-reported school engagement in same-sex couples with young children" (2014). Psychology. 377.