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Teens of Lesbian Parents Appear Well-Adjusted

MONDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Teenagers with lesbian mothers are as well adjusted as their peers being raised by heterosexual parents, according to a new study from the University of Amsterdam.

These teens reported having a good quality of life, despite teasing or other stereotypes they may face.

"Adolescent offspring in planned lesbian families do not show differences in quality of life when compared with adolescents reared in heterosexual families," wrote researchers led by Loes van Gelderen.

In the study in the January issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 78 teens with lesbian mothers living in the United States took an online survey about their quality of life. The researchers compared these with surveys completed by teens with heterosexual parents.

The study revealed all the teens had similar favorable views on their quality of life, such as how well they got along with their parents and how much they looked forward to the future, according to a journal news release.

"Adolescents living with lesbian parents function as well as, or sometimes better than, those reared by opposite-sex parents," the researchers wrote.

Survey responses of the teens with lesbian mothers were not affected by whether they knew who their biological father was or whether their mother had changed partners since their birth.

Although about 40 percent of these teens admitted they faced unfair or unkind treatment related to having a lesbian parent, that did not affect how they rated their quality of life.

The researchers said schools should educate students on diversity and enforce a no-tolerance for bullying policy, as classmates were the most common source of this ridicule. "Such changes to the educational system would benefit youths from all family types," they concluded.

More information

The American Psychological Association provides information on same-sex parenting.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, news release, January 2012

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