The Biopsychosocial Development & Diversity Laboratory

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies

NAFS LogoThe New American Family Study (NAFS) is an NIH-funded research initiative aiming to better understand the factors affecting the lives of same-sex couples and couples with one or more gender nonconforming or trans* members.   In addition, this study examines their decisions regarding starting  families with children, including questions related to whether, where, how, and when couples decide to have children.  NAFS is also interested in the effects of specific sources of stress (i.e., homophobia, institutionalized heterosexism, transphobia, sociocultural heteronormativity) and support (i.e., social networks, families-of-origin and families-of-choice) that affect the health and well-being of LGBT couples.

Cohabiting LGBT couples represent a rapidly growing family structure in the United States, but studies of these families and their experiences are very limited.  This is a scientifically and socially significant domain of study because it informs:

  • community support agencies for the LGBT community
  • health professionals
  • local, state, and federal political and judicial processes that make critical decisions regarding the legal status and rights of LGBT individuals and same-sex couples

To be a paid participant in this web-based study, you must currently be in a co-residential same-sex relationship or in a relationship where one or both members identify as trans* or gender nonconforming.  Currently having or planning to have children is not necessary for participation.

For more information about this study, or to get more information about participation in this important work, please contact Dr. Roger Mills-Koonce at:

NAFS is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant #1K01 HD075833-01, PI: Roger Mills-Koonce.