Children's play narratives: what they tell us about lesbian-mother families

Beth Perry, Amanda Burston, Madeleine Stevens, Jean Golding, Howard Steele, Susan Golombok (2004)

Please note: this is a legacy publication from CPEC (formely PSSRU at LSE).

American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 74 4 467-479

Play narratives can offer a unique insight into the child’s internal world. This study compared the play narratives of children in 38 lesbian-mother families; 73 two-parent, heterosexual-mother families; and 58 single-heterosexual-mother families recruited from a general population sample. Findings indicated positive mother-child relationships and well-adjusted children. Girls’ narratives showed more affection than boys’ and were more strongly associated with mothers’ interview measures, suggesting that girls’ play narratives reveal a more accurate picture of family relationships.