A QUALITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF PARENTING NEEDS:
ARE THERE UNIQUE NEEDS OF LESBIAN AND GAY PARENTS?
Aubree M. Mendel
A Thesis Presented to the
FACULTY OF THE ROSSIER SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
In Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree
MASTER OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY
Copyright 2007 Aubree M. Mendel
The current study tried to find out if there were unique parental concerns for lesbian and gay parents of newborn to 18 year olds. This study sought to discover what these concerns are and how they can be used for parent education programs that would best fit lesbian and gay parents. Participants included 26 lesbian and gay parents, 24 of who completed an online survey and 2 who took part in an in-person interview. Supplemental data was gathered from online public discussion forums. Parents brought up a wide variety of concerns such as: fear of exposure in the school system, lack of societal acceptance, and discrimination. Understanding and including these concerns when developing a parent education program will help to make the program more inclusive and effective.