Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours


School of Psychology and Social Sciences


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Supervisor

Dr Julie Ann Pooley


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 (n = 10) raising children in Perth, Western Australia were interviewed. A thematic analysis technique outlined by Glesne and Peshkin (1992) was then conducted. Seven family resiliency processes were identified in the current study, 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 that include child interviews, gay fathers and longitudinal designs are recommended.