Parenting, family life, and well-being among sexual minorities: nursing policy and practice implications

Scott Weber
Issues in Mental Health Nursing 2008, 29 (6): 601-18
Parenting and family life are fundamental social constructs in human society and in law and public policy. Family structures and support systems provide important economic and psychological advantages for parents as well as for their children. Stigma toward lesbian and gay parents often marginalize individuals in these families and restrict family members' full expression of social citizenship, humanity, and personhood. Stigma directly contributes to increased risk for substance abuse, anxiety, and depressive illness among both parents and children. This article reviews the relevant policy literature to deconstruct the impacts of stigma on the psychological health and well-being of sexual minority parents so that psychiatric/mental health nurses and other health care providers can identify and counter these effects in their practices and advocate for policy improvements.

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