“Kids Are Joy”: Psychological Welfare Among Israeli Gay Fathers

Geva Shenkman, Dov Shmotkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the psychological welfare associated with gay men couplehood (being in relationship) and gay fatherhood. From a sample of 204 Israeli gay men (age range 19-79), we compared 45 gay fathers (55.6% of them being in a steady relationship) with 45 individually matched gay men who were not fathers on indicators of psychological welfare, namely, subjective well-being, depressive symptoms (a reverse indicator), and meaning in life. In line with the study hypothesis, the results indicated that couplehood and parenthood were both associated with higher psychological welfare. Whereas the previously reported heterosexual “parenthood paradox” relates parenthood to decreased levels of subjective well-being along with increased levels of meaning in life, the current study suggests that gay fathers have elevated levels of both subjective well-being and meaning in life. We discuss possible interpretations of the findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1926-1939
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number14
StatePublished - 12 Dec 2014


  • depressive symptoms
  • gay fatherhood
  • gay men couplehood
  • meaning in life
  • subjective well-being


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