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The lived experience of being a daughter of a lesbian-headed family

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Title: The lived experience of being a daughter of a lesbian-headed family
Author: Tutte, Susan K.
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Counselling Psychology
Copyright Date: 1998
Abstract: This study drew on phenomenological constructs to explore the lived experiences of daughters raised in lesbian-headed families. Purposeful sampling methods were employed to attain a sample of five women. During in-depth, individual, audio-taped interviews the participants shared their lived experiences as daughters with lesbian mothers. The interviews were then transcribed and analyzed using Colaizzi's (1978) method of phenomenological analysis. Results of the analysis yielded six common themes: 1) a sense of being different, 2) a sense of being torn, 3) a reclamation of identity, 4) a resistance to socially prescribed femininity, 5) a sense of closeness with their mother, and 6) an enhanced sense of social justice. Validation interviews were conducted to ensure the themes accurately reflected the womens' lived experience. The five daughters in this study appear to have constructed stable lives and to have maintained good relationships with friends, partners, and family. The results also indicate that age related developmental stages and the environment may have influenced the participants' experiences. All participants recalled experiencing feelings of being different from others, feelings of shame or embarrassment about their family, and feelings of pride in themselves and their family form. These findings indicate there may be a commonality between the experiences of these women and the experiences of other minority group members as outlined in minority identity development models such as the Minority Identity Development Model of Atkinson, Morten, and Sue (1993).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/7757
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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