Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Dr. Susan L. Instone, Chairperson; Dr. Diane C. Hatton; Dr. Tamar Gershon


Gays & Lesbians, Homophobia, Lesbian-parent families, LGBTQ+, nursing, parents & parenting, stigma


The gay-and lesbian-parent family is a family form becoming more prevalent in today's diverse society. Now, with advances in reproductive technology and a growing acceptance of homosexuality, gay men and lesbians are having, adopting, and raising children in record numbers. The purpose of this study was to identify how parents and children in planned lesbian-parent families live in a homophobic society where they face social prejudice on a daily basis. Data were obtained from interviews with 12 planned lesbian-parent families. Data analysis included interviews with the parents as well as analysis of 48 of the children's drawings and the stories about their drawings. Data analysis using a qualitative approach through the use of grounded theory and projective drawing techniques led to a substantive theory to explain the process of managing stigma in planned lesbian-parent families. Interactional strategies used by the parents and the children were identified. These strategies were influenced by experiences of homophobia and the family's social network. These findings have implications for further research, clinical practice, and education.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons