NORTHAMPTON, MA – Stigma, Social Context, and Mental Health: Lesbian and Gay Couples Across The Transition to Adoptive Parenthood, groundbreaking new research about gay adoptive parents by Dr. Abbie E. Goldberg, has been published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology by the American Psychological Association in February, 2011.
Dr. Goldberg’s new work, co-authored with JuliAnna Z. Smith at The Center for Research on Families at The University of Massachusetts/Amherst, is the first study to examine changes in depression and anxiety across the first year of adoptive parenthood in same-sex couples. Ninety same-sex couples (52 lesbian couples and 38 gay male couples) were studied and profiled at three separate times during their first year of adoptive parenthood.
Dr. Goldberg’s research indicates that, among same-sex couples raising adoptive children during the first year those who lived in states with anti-gay laws and social attitudes had more mental health issues than those who lived in states that provide a more supportive legal and social environment towards gay parenting and parents. In addition, same-sex couples who reported higher perceived workplace support, higher family support and more gay-friendly neighborhoods reported better mental health than those who reported poor workplace, family, and neighborhood support.
The full article, Stigma, Social Context, and Mental Health: Lesbian and Gay Couples Across The Transition to Adoptive Parenthood, is available in PDF format on Dr. Goldberg’s website: http://www.clarku.edu/faculty/goldberg/publications.html
Dr. Goldberg’s landmark 2010 book Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle, also published by the American Psychological Association, was the first full-length analysis of the research on gay parenting, summarizing research data on the subject from the 1970’s to the present . That research was consistent in suggesting that the outcomes and well-being of children raised by gay and lesbian parents were no different than those of children raised by heterosexual parents.
Research for Stigma, Social Context, and Mental Health: Lesbian and Gay Couples Across The Transition to Adoptive Parenthood was funded by grants from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; the Wayne F. Placek award, from the American Psychological Foundation; the Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law; the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues; and the Lesbian Health Fund, awarded by the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.
Abbie E. Goldberg, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Clark University in Worcester, MA. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Wesleyan University (Connecticut); her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and her M.S. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Goldberg also completed a clinical psychology internship at Yale Medical School. Her research has examined the transition to parenthood in diverse families, including lesbian-parent families and adoptive-parent families. In particular, her work has focused on how families’ relationships and identities change across the transition to parenthood, and how gender and sexual orientation figure into individuals’ adjustment and experience of parenthood. In addition, she has also studied the experiences of adults raised by lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents. She has received funding from the American Psychological Association, the National Institutes of Health, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Williams Institute, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues