Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Counseling and Psychological Services
Julie R. Ancis - Chair
Sheryl A. Gowen
This study is designed to more fully understand the adaptational processes that parents of lesbians and gay men experience when their children come out to them. Seventeen parents described their experiences in semi-structured interviews. The interview transcripts were analyzed using grounded theory methodology to develop a model of parental adjustment over time. Parents experienced three broad phases of adjustment, each with different emphases: emotional responses were most dominant initially, cognitive and behavioral adjustments were the primary focus of the middle phase, and moral/spiritual issues were the major concern of the final phase. Some parents who successfully negotiated these adjustments came to view being the parent of a gay male or lesbian as an important component of their identities. Implications for further research and clinical practice are discussed.
Phillips, Mary Jane, "Identity Development as the Parent of a Lesbian or Gay Male" (2007). Counseling and Psychological Services Dissertations. Paper 9.