Document Type

Journal Article


The college of Community Psychologists of the Australain Psychological Society Ltd


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Psychology and Social Science / Lifespan Resilience Research Group




This article was originally published as: Griffiths, N. , & Pooley, J. (2011). Resilience in Families with Same-Sex Parents. The Australian Community Psychologist, 23(2), 50-67. Original article available here


Research suggests resilience can be viewed as a dynamic process facilitating positive functioning within the context of significant adversity. A nuclear family type that remains a controversial and stigmatized group is families with same-sex parents. Same sex families face a great number of challenges, due to the presence of heterosexism in society and they are often heavily criticised within the broad public domain. The current study adopted a phenomenological methodology to identify the family resilience processes utilised by same-sex families. Five lesbian couples raising children in Perth, Western Australia were interviewed. A thematic analysis technique was then conducted. Seven family resiliency processes were identified – Creating Family Unity, Preparation, Support, Outness, Flexibility, Normalisation and Humour. Limitations of this study include the lack of child participants, meaning mothers were speaking on behalf of their children. Future studies could include using child interviews and gay fathers.

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