Invisible Victims: Delayed Onset Depression Among Adults with Same-Sex Parents

Depression Research and Treatment, Volume 2016

9 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2016 Last revised: 17 Jul 2016

See all articles by Donald Sullins

Donald Sullins

The Catholic University of America; The Ruth Institute

Date Written: April 19, 2016

Abstract

The relationship of elevated depression risk recently discovered among adult persons raised by same-sex parents with possible precipitating conditions in childhood has not previously been acknowledged. This study tests whether such inattention is supportable. Logistic regression based risk ratios were estimated from longitudinal measures of mental health outcomes observed in three waves (at ages 15, 22, and 28) of the US National Survey of Adolescent to Adult Health (𝑛 = 15,701). At age 28, the adults raised by same-sex parents were at over twice the risk of depression (CES-D: risk ratio 2.6, 95% CI 1.4-4.6) as persons raised by man-woman parents. These findings should be interpreted with caution. Elevated risk was associated with imbalanced parental closeness and parental child abuse in family of origin; depression, suicidality, and anxiety at age 15; and stigma and obesity. More research and policy attention to potentially problematic conditions for children with same-sex parents appears warranted.

Keywords: same-sex, parenting, child well-being, homosexuality, depression, obesity, suicidality, stigma, National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health)

JEL Classification: J12, J13

Suggested Citation

Sullins, Donald, Invisible Victims: Delayed Onset Depression Among Adults with Same-Sex Parents (April 19, 2016). Depression Research and Treatment, Volume 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2801825

Donald Sullins (Contact Author)

The Catholic University of America ( email )

116 McMahon Hall
Washington, DC 20064
United States

The Ruth Institute ( email )

4845 Lake Street
Suite 217
Lake Charles, LA 70605
United States

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