AIM: To study parenting stress in lesbian parents and to compare that stress with heterosexual parents following in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or spontaneous pregnancies.
METHODS: This survey took place during 2005-2008 and was part of the Swedish multicentre study on gamete donation. It comprised 131 lesbian parents, 83 heterosexual IVF parents, who used their own gametes, and 118 spontaneous pregnancy parents. The participants responded to the questionnaire when the child was between 12 and 36-months-old and parenting stress was measured by the Swedish Parenting Stress Questionnaire (SPSQ).
RESULTS: Lesbian parents experienced less parenting stress than heterosexual IVF parents when it came to the General Parenting Stress measure (p = 0.001) and the subareas of Incompetence (p < 0.001), Social Isolation (p = 0.033) and Role Restriction (p = 0.004). They also experienced less parenting stress than heterosexual spontaneous pregnancy couples, according to the Social Isolation subarea (p = 0.003). Birth mothers experienced higher stress than co-mothers and fathers, according to the Role Restriction measure (p = 0.041).
CONCLUSION: These are reassuring findings, considering the known challenges that lesbian families face in establishing their parental roles and, in particular, the challenges related to the lack of recognition of the co-mother.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Acta Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics|
|Early online date||1 Apr 2014|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2014|