Polyamory and Children

A compilation of research on children and polyamorous families.

Barker, Meg & Langdridge, Darren. (2010). Understanding Non-monogamies. London: Routledge. Pallotta-Chiarolli, Maria. (2010). Border Sexualities, Border Families in Schools. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Pallotta-Chiarolli, Maria (2006). Polyparents Having Children, Raising Children, Schooling Children. Lesbian and Gay Psychology Review, 7 (1), (March 2006), 48-53.
Pallotta-Chiarolli, Maria. (2010). To Pass, Border or Pollute: Polyfamilies Go to School. In Meg Barker & Darren Langridge (Eds.), Understanding Non-Monogamies. New York, NY: Routledge.
Pallotta-Chiarolli, Maria, Haydon, Peter; & Hunter, Anne. (In press, 2012). These Are Our Children: Polyamorous Parenting. In Katherine Allen & Abbie Goldberg (Eds.), LGBT-Parent Families: Possibilities for New Research and Implications for Practice. London: Springer.
Sheff, Elisabeth. (2011). Polyamorous Families, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Slippery Slope. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 40 (5), (October 2011), 487-520,
Sheff, Elisabeth. (2010). Strategies in Polyamorous Parenting. In Meg Barker & Darren Langridge (Eds.), Understanding Non-Monogamies. London: Routledge. Older studies:
Constantine, Larry L., & Constantine, Joan M. (1976). Treasures of the Island: Children in Alternative Families. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
Constantine, Larry L., & Constantine, Joan M. Group Marriage: A Study of Contemporary Multilateral Marriage. New York: Macmillan, 1973, pp. 148-162.
Constantine, Larry L. (1977) Where are the kids? Children in Alternative Life Styles. In Libby, Roger W., & Robert N. Whitehurst (Eds.), Marriage and Alternatives: Exploring Intimate Relationships (pp. 257-263). Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman & Co.
Johnston, C., & R. Deisher. (1973). Contemporary communal child rearing: a first analysis. Pediatrics, 52(3), (September 1973), 319-326.
Salsburg, Sheldon (1973). Is group marriage viable? Journal of Sex Research 9(4), (November 1973), 325-333.
Weisner, T.S. (1986). Implementing New Relationship Styles in Conventional and Nonconventional American Families. In Hartup, W., & Z. Rubin (Eds.), Relationships and Development (pp. 185-206). New Jersey: LEA Press.
Weisner, T. S., & H. Garnier. (1992). Nonconventional family lifestyles and school achievement: A 12-year longitudinal study. American Educational Research Journal 29(3), 605-632.
2016 Sheff, Elisabeth. When Someone you Love is Polyamorous. Portland, OR: Thorntree Press.
2016 Sheff, Elisabeth. “Resilient Polyamorous Families” in Critical Dimensions of Sex & Gender Diversity: Clinical Perspectives edited by Karian, Previn.
2015 Sheff, Elisbeth. “Polyamorous Parenting” in The Sage Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies edited by Goldberg, Abbie. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
2015 Sheff, Elisabeth (Editor). Stories from the Polycule: Real Life in Polyamorous Families. Portland, OR: Thorntree Press.
2014 Sheff, Elisabeth. The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple Partner Relationships and Families. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
2013 Goldfeder, Mark and Sheff, Elisabeth. “Children in Polyamorous Families: A First Empirical Look,” The Journal of Law and Social Deviance. Volume 5, pages 150 – 243. http://www.lsd-journal.net/archives/Volume5/ChildrenOfPolyamorousFamilies.pdf
2012 Sheff, Elisabeth. “Polyamory and Divorce” in Cultural Sociology of Divorce, an Encyclopedia, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
“The final article on polyamory and divorce mentions children but is not wholly focused on them, so it might not be as relevant to your list. Also, that book is incredibly expensive and mostly only found in libraries so could be somewhat inaccessible.” – Elisabeth Sheff

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