Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


David Weintraub

Committee Member

Judith Galician

Committee Member

Kimberly Durham


Relationships, Same sex, Stressors, Teenagers


Having same-sex parents is often linked with negative effects to the well-being of children into their adult years. The reported experiences from teenagers with same-sex parents and the stressors they experience are next to nonexistent. For this study, an interpretative phenomenological analysis was conducted to understand how teenagers age 13-16 make meaning of their same-sex parents’ relationship and the stressors they experience.

The theoretical framework for this study was based on the collaborative language system (CLS) of Anderson and Goolishian. The researcher investigated the perceptions of four teenaged participants regarding their relationships with their same-sex parents and how they coped with the stressors they experience as a result of their parents’ same-sex relationship. As teenagers living with same-sex parents, these teens shared how they define their parents’ same-sex relationship to be and the stressors they experienced as a result of their parents’ same-sex relationship. While these teens were able to navigate through their lived social experiences, through positive relationships, and self- acquired coping skills, implications for further research still exist with regard to fostering practices that create an environment for teens with same-sex parents to be able to use open expression and discuss effective ways of coping with their stressors.

Future research is recommended to conduct comparison studies that would include the similarities or dissimilarities between the lived experiences of teenagers living with different-sex and same-sex parents and how the different relationships are defined, and the stressors experienced as a result of their parent’s relationship.