Interpersonal Communication Research: Advances through Meta-Analysis

By Mike Allen; Raymond W. Preiss et al. | Go to book overview

who might feel resentment against the “lifestyle” of their parents. Whether this resentment is caused by the parent's sexual practices or a manifestation of normal differences caused by a generational gap is unclear. The emotional feelings are not converted into any other expression or outcome, so again it is unclear whether such feelings were felt by the child and impacted the transition to becoming an adult. Without some basis for comparison or evidence of impact it is difficult to assess the evidence. Future research should be conducted to develop these areas. Another option is some type of intervention to ameliorate these feelings, similar to other types of interventions currently used in families.

Although direct behavioral data are commendable, another aspect deserves additional consideration: the child's mental or emotional feelings. Such data may or may not be directly observable as behavior, but the importance of the child's emotions and attitudes deserves attention. Such data collection efforts are more suited to the use of self-report data measurement instruments. This analysis suggests that the particular method of data collection produces little difference in outcome. The method of analysis did not create divergent findings; the investigators generated those.

The consideration of child custody provides a difficult issue for society. The assumption of parental rights is something that the courts are reluctant to reverse. This finding continues to support the conclusion that biological parents, regardless of heterosexual or homosexual practices, should not have their rights to custody or visitation terminated or restricted. This study suggests that parents need to be evaluated in terms of the particular practices that they provide to a child. The information provided about the impact of the parent's sexual practices (heterosexual or homosexual) failed to provide a clear basis for custody preference on the basis of what impact such practices have on the child's development.

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