Faculty Books and Book Chapters

Family and Social Development

Family and Social Development

Book Title

Counseling LGBTQ Adults Throughout the Life Span (Edited by Catherine B. Roland and Larry D. Burlew)


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Document Type

Book Chapter


Midlife (ages 30 to 60) is generally a time in which partnership, children, and aging parents are of focus. Many individuals enter into partnerships, including those formally recognized through marriage or civil unions, in their 20s, and continue this developmental task in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. In 2014, the average age for a woman to have her first child was 26 (Mathews & Hamilton, 2016), resulting in midlife being largely focused on raising children. Finally, when individuals are in midlife, their parents are older adults who may be experiencing declining health and functioning, often requiring support from adult children. For people who identify as LGBTQ, each of these developmental tasks require unique considerations, including specific challenges and strengths. In this article, common developmental tasks of midlife related to family and social factors will be detailed, followed by information about the possible challenges encountered as LGBTQ persons pursue these milestones. Possible strengths possessed by members of these communities as related to midlife developmental tasks are also described. Intersectionality is then discussed in regard to members of LGBTQ communities and family issues. Finally, considerations for counseling will be described.

Publication Date



American Counseling Association


Alexandria, VA

Family and Social Development