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A phenomenological investigation of how parents come to terms with a gay son or lesbian daughter MacKenzie, Edith Agnes


This study investigated the phenomenological nature of coming to terms with a gay son or lesbian daughter. Seven co-researchers were interviewed. They were selected from a network of friends, acquaintences and the organization Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians. Each person was asked to describe their personal experience of "coming to terms" and to validate the analysis within the context of three interviews. The interviews were taped, transcribed and used as the data for this study. The meaning of "coming to terms" was studied by using the existential-phenomenological approach. The analysis followed the descriptive research method outlined by Colaizzi (1978) in Existential-Phenomenological Alternatives For Psychology. The results directly address the meaning of coming to terms with a gay son or lesbian daughter. The major themes (constituents) were described and integrated into an exhaustive phenomenological description. A condensed description (esstential structure) was derived from the phenomenological description and was presented in an unequivocal statement of meaning.

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