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Prof. Charlotte J. Patterson
(? - living) - U.S.A.

Charlotte Patterson

Research psychologist


Charlotte Patterson is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. Since receiving her Ph.D. in Psychology at Stanford University in 1975, she has pursued research and teaching in developmental psychology. She has published widely in the areas of social and personal development among children and adolescents, with an emphasis on the family, school, and peer contexts of social development. Of particolar interest to us is her book Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents (1992).

Patterson has served on the editorial boards of numerous journals and is currently Associate Editor of the Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. Her research has been supported by the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and by the U. S. Office on Child Abuse and Neglect.

At present, Patterson continues her work on the Charlottesville Longitudinal Study, focusing on issues related to risk and resilience among a large group of schoolchildren. She also serves as director of the Bay Area Families Study, a study of psychosocial development among children who were born to or adopted by lesbian mothers, and co-director of the Contemporary Families Study, which examines psychosocial adjustment among children born via donor insemination to lesbian and heterosexual parents.

In addition to her research, Patterson has co-edited a number of books, and has served as guest editor for a special issue of Developmental Psychology devoted to research on Sexual Orientation and Human Development, published in 1995. She has won numerous awards, including the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from Division 44 of the American Psychological Association, and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association Committee on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns.

Patterson stated that second-parent adoptions in the gay and lesbian community can help secure an adopted child's legal protections. She noted that the American Association of Pediatricians, an organization that speaks for 55,000 pediatric doctors, recently said it supported second-parent adoptions. Patterson said,

"Two decades of study have revealed that parental sexual orientation per se is not important".


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