The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families (ACHESS)


To capture the physical, mental and social wellbeing of Australian children with at least one same-sex attracted parent, and to explore how these children are affected by experiences of stigma and discrimination.

Key Papers

  1. Crouch S, Waters E, McNair R, Power J, and Davis E (2014) Parent-reported measures of child health and wellbeing in same-sex parent families: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Public Health 14:635
  2. Crouch S, Waters E, McNair R, Power J, Davis E and van Mourik L (2014). Triumphs and Challenges in recruiting same-sex parent families. ANZJPH 38(1) 87-88
  3. Crouch SR, McNair RP, Waters EB and Power JJ (2013). What makes a same-sex parented family? Med J Aust 199(2): 94-96
  4. Crouch SR, Waters E, McNair R, Power J and Davis E (2012). ACHESS – The Australian study of child health in same-sex families: background research, design and methodology. BMC Public Health 12:646

Project Summary

Contemporary debates around the place of same-sex parent families in our society often focus on the importance of child health and wellbeing in this context. Furthermore same-sex attracted people and their families often experience discrimination due to negative attitudes towards diverse sexual orientation. To date research in this field has been limited due to small sample sizes, a focus solely on lesbian parents and an emphasis on psychosocial components of health. Little is known about the health of Australian children with same-sex attracted parents and in particular the impact that stigma and discrimination has on them. The ACHESS seeks to fill these research gaps and answer important, policy relevant questions relating to child health and wellbeing in same-sex parent families. The ACHESS is a mixed methods study capturing data from 500 children in 315 families. Quantitative data was gathered between May and December 2012 using gold standard, validated child health and wellbeing survey instruments. Qualitative data was captured through family interviews between January and August 2013. The ACHESS is supported by an Advisory Committee that brings together academics and community partners to ensure high quality and relevant research.

Funding Source

NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship, John and Allen Gilmour Research Award

Research Team