The preliminary findings of a landmark Melbourne University study were released this month, showing children with same-sex attracted parents and carers experienced better health than their peers in some areas.
Same-sex parented children rated significantly higher than those from more traditional family backgrounds in ‘general health’ and ‘family cohesion’ measures. They also scored as well as others in all other domains, including physical functional, emotional wellbeing and self-esteem.
The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families (ACHESS) surveyed 315 parents with children up to 17 years of age to determine the overall health and wellbeing of children with same-sex parents. An important focus of the survey was to measure the impact of associated stigma and discrimination on whole-family mental health.
According to lead researcher, Dr Simon Crouch, the survey has provided valuable new insights into same-sex families and the challenges they face raising their children.
“There is actually a lack of information on the mental health of same-sex parents...Because of this, one of the things we are looking [into] is the mental health of same-sex parents and how their mental health impacts on child health in this setting,” he said.
“We know that in general, parental mental health is a factor in child health so it is important to better understand this in the context of same-sex families.”
The full report will be released in September.
Download the interim report here
For more information on ACHESS, go to www.achess.org.au.