There is an increase in the number of families being headed by same sex couples. With such changes come the questions about the effects on human development in persons raised in same sex parent homes. Specifically there is question about whether adolescents encounter difficulties with adjustments more in same sex parent families versus those adolescents in a different sex parent family.For the purposes of this research critique, I will start by discussing my reasons for choosing the specific article I chose, my expectations of the article and the articles appeal to me. I will then summarize the article and discuss its completeness and further follow up that could be done. I choose this study over the others because I have an interest in learning more about same sex relationships and the effects they have on the couples involved as well as children raised with homes with same sex parents.I have strong religious beliefs that do not support same sex relationships and I have found in the past the articles I have read about same sex relationships tend to confirm the beliefs I have.
This article title sparked my interest because it was a new subject matter under this premise. After looking at the title and before reading any of the article, I had the assumption that I was going to learn that there are more problems in adolescents in a same sex parent family over those in a different sex parent family.I find that to be my religious bias coming out. I have made the poor assumption that just because same sex relationships don’t follow my own belief system that they are in turn faulty relationships and not good environments for children to be reared in. I recognized this bias once I completed reading the article. I have no foundation for these biases by way of scientific data and realize that just because my own religious beliefs don’t align with this idea, doesn’t mean that these relationships and family types don’t work overall.I found this article interesting because it opened my eyes to my own biases about same sex relationships as a whole.
As far as data presented and results, I didn’t find it as interesting based on the fact that there are no significant differences between the two family types studied. I was hoping to see more information on comparisons and results but since the subjects used were from another study, it didn’t seem to have as much data as I had expected.The study, Delinquency, Victimization, and Substance Use Among Adolescents With Female Same-Sex Parents by Jennifer L. Wainright and Charlotte J. Patterson, examines whether adolescents with female same sex parents differ significantly from a matched group of adolescents living with different-sex parents, including measures of delinquent behavior, victimization, substance abuse, and qualities of family relationships. Participants were selected from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in grades 7-12.Forty-four participants whose families were headed by a mother who reported being in a marriage or marriage like relationship with another women were selected.
These participants were matched based on gender, age, ethnic background, adoption status, learning disability status, family income and parents’ education with an adolescent reared in a different-sex parent home. There were a total of 88 participants in the study (Wainright & Patterson, 2006).The study assessed substance abuse, delinquent behaviors, and victimization of each adolescent participant via an in home interview (IHI), in school surveys of students, and through in home questionnaires of parents (Wainright & Patterson, 2006). Family and relationship variables were also examined. Wainright & Patterson (2006) stated that they also looked at “adolescents’ perceived care from adults, teachers, and friends was measured with three items from the Adolescent IHI regarding how much the adolescent believed that others care about them” (p. 27). Wainright & Patterson’s (2006) study revealed the following: Across a diverse array of assessments, including measures of delinquent behavior, victimization, substance abuse, and qualities of family relationships, adolescents with female same- sex parents did not differ significantly from a matched group of adolescents living with different-sex parents.
Regardless of family type, adolescents were less likely to report risky behavior when parents described close relationships with them (p. 528-529).Thus we can see that the sexual orientation of parents does not have a significant effect on the adolescents adjustments as much as the closeness of the relationship between the parent and the adolescent. In my opinion the research suggested in this article was based on a limited number of participants and was solely based on self-reports of the adolescents and parents. This necessarily makes the study incomplete but it does lead me to wonder how the results would change with a larger sample size. This would be a good follow up to this study.