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Title: Exploring the experiences of young people with gay or lesbian parent/s
Author: Tyler, Jane R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 8682
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2011
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Families with non-heterosexual parents have an increasing presence in UK society. Research on these families has found no evidence to suggest that children with nonheterosexual parents differ from children raised in heterosexual parent families on various aspects of their psychological, developmental and social development. Exploratory studies have begun to look at the lived experience of these families, usually from the parents' viewpoint. Using an exploratory qualitative approach, this research attempted to address this deficit by exploring young people's experiences of having a non-heterosexual parent. Eight young people aged 16 to 22 years were interviewed. Findings were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, and four inter-linking themes were identified. 'Flexibility in family identity' represents the movement of the young people between two positions: perceiving their family as the same as other families and perceiving their family as different. 'Perceived gains from being different' highlights examples of the young people building resilience and a positive identity. An awareness of their own ability to change the negative perceptions of others contributed to a positive identity. 'Challenges to a positive identity' details those challenges that arise from living in a heterosexist society, such as negative reactions from others and assumptions they make, and experiences of teasing at school. The final theme represents strategies the young people used in order to 'Manage the challenges'to their positive identity, such as disclosure of their family composition, noting positive reactions, dismissing negative perceptions, and gaining support from family and friends. Findings are discussed in relation to wider contexts such as discourses about influences on public perceptions, family diversity, and the developmental age of participants. The researcher's contribution to the interpretation is also reflected upon. Implications for practice focus at an individual, service, and community and societal level, and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available