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Behavioral Outcomes of Children with Same-Sex Parents in The Netherlands

Deni Mazrekaj, Mirjam M. Fischer and Henny M. W. Bos
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Deni Mazrekaj: Department of Sociology, Utrecht University, Padualaan 14, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands
Mirjam M. Fischer: Institute of Sociology und Social Psychology, University of Cologne, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, D-50923 Cologne, Germany
Henny M. W. Bos: Research Institute Child Development and Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 127, 1001 NG Amsterdam, The Netherlands

IJERPH, 2022, vol. 19, issue 10, 1-12

Abstract: Same-sex parents face substantial stressors due to their sexual orientation, such as experiences of prejudice and prohibitive legal environments. This added stress is likely to lead to reduced physical and mental health in same-sex parents that, in turn, may translate into problematic behavioral outcomes in their children. To date, there are only a few nationally representative studies that investigate the well-being of children with same-sex parents. The current study takes a closer look at children’s behavioral outcomes, reported by a parent, using an adapted version of the emotional, conduct, hyperactivity, pro-social, and peer problems subscales of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). We take advantage of unique data from the Netherlands based on a probability sample from population registers, whereby findings can be inferred to same-sex and different-sex parent households with parents between the ages of 30 and 65, and with children between the ages of 6 and 16 years (62 children with same-sex, and 72 children with different-sex parents). The findings obtained by coarsened exact matching suggest no significant disadvantages for children with same-sex parents compared to different-sex parents. We contextualize these findings in their wider cultural context, and recommend a renewed focus in future research away from deficit-driven comparisons.

Keywords: same-sex parents; behavioral outcomes; family system theory; minority stress theory; probability sample; coarsened exact matching (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I I1 I3 Q Q5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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