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Examining the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study

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A serious topic like is drastically deserving of more careful, less partisan research.

Dr. Nanette Gartrell is the principle investigator of the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) following (originally) 84 lesbian families created via donor insemination to determine how these children fare in a number of developmental measures. The authors explain their study is “the largest, longest running, prospective, longitudinal study of same-sex-parented families.” Nanette Gartrell and Henny Bos, “US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents,” Pediatrics 126 (2010): 28-36. It is important that students of the family understand what’s under the hood of this study.

This study is not a sophisticated, dispassionate academic investigation, but rather an orchestrated persuasion piece conducted and funded by gay-rights activists. The study’s website features a photograph of a cute infant lounging in a crib, sporting a onesie which proclaims, “I was hatched by a couple of chicks.”

The study – publishing its findings in various stages over the last few years – has gotten a good bit of (uncritical) attention in the general press for dramatic conclusions, such as this article from Time:

The authors found that children raised by lesbian mothers…scored very similarly to children raised by heterosexual parents on measures of development and social behavior. …[H]owever, they were surprised to discover that children in lesbian homes scored higher than kids in straight families on some psychological measures of self-esteem and confidence, did better academically and were less likely to have behavioral problems, such as rule-breaking and aggression. Alice Park, “Study: Children of Lesbians May Do Better Than Their Peers,” Time, June 7, 2010. (emphasis added)

So kids with two moms do better than those being raised by their own mother and father? This seems to be exactly what the NLLFS claims in its 2010 study published in the respected journal, Pediatrics:

The NLLFS adolescents are well-adjusted, demonstrating more competencies and fewer behavioral problems than their peers in the normative American population. Gartrell and Bos, 2010, p. 34.

But there are a few things that must be recognized about the NLLFS before building substantive conclusions on such findings. We examine these here.

An Activist Study

The investigators of the NLLFS are not scholars in the field of child development. They are not scholars in the field of family formation. Their professional research has been solely in the field of lesbian research. Examine the bibliographies offered in each of their published studies to date. They offer the reader no survey of the vast literature on how various family forms impact child development and well-being in varying degrees. They consult – nearly exclusively – only published studies that examine gay or lesbian issues. When they do make a cursory reference to the larger, general body of research on how family form impacts children, they cite sociology text books rather than referring the reader to published studies, a practice unacceptable for beginning graduate students.

The study is also funded primarily by well-known and highly partisans groups such as The Gill Foundation, the world’s largest and most influential funder of GLBT political and social causes, the Lesbian Health Fund of the Gay Lesbian Medical Association, and the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, The Arcus Foundation and the Roy Scrivner Fund. Gartrell and Bos, 2011, p. 8; Nanette K. Gartrell, Henny M. W. Bos and Naomi G. Goldberg, “Adolescents of the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Sexual Orientation, Sexual Behavior, and Sexual Risk Exposure” Archive of Sexual Behavior, 40 (2011):1199-1209, p. 1207.

In and Outside Mainstream of GLBT Activism

Dr. Gartrell has a long and award-winning history in lesbian-research activism. In 2001, she published Everyday Mutinies: Funding Lesbian Activism, a handbook showing how to grow and fund lesbian activism. Nanette K. Gartrell, Everyday Mutinies: Funding Lesbian Activism (New York: Routledge, 2001).

Gartrell is not only in the mainstream of lesbian activism, but practically beyond it as well. While married to award winning lesbian-film maker Dee Mosbacher, Gartrell and Mosbacher are self-proclaimed polyamorists. Gartrell explains their “progressive” relational arrangement in an article published in the Journal of Lesbian Studies provocatively entitled, “If This Is Tuesday, It Must Be Dee… Confessions of a Closet Polyamorist.” Nanette K. Gartrell, “If This Is Tuesday, It Must Be Dee… Confessions of a Closet Polyamorist,” Journal of Lesbian Studies 3 (1999): 23-33. The essay was co-published simultaneously in Marcia Munson and Judith P. Stelbourn, eds. The Lesbian Polyamory Reader: Open Relationships, Non-Mongamy, and Casual Sex, (New York: The Hawthorne Press, 1999).

To explain just how out of the mainstream of the lesbian community she has been, she admits, “And, as surprising as it may seem, I do not consider honesty, integrity, and commitment the guiding principle of my intimate life.” Rather her commitment is to “making each block of time I spend with each lover as glorious as it can be.” Gartrell, 1999, p. 24. She assures her reader that loving multiple adults should raise no concern; after all, she “would never think to challenge a parent’s capacity to love…multiple children at the same time.” Gartrell, 1999, p. 32. However, she spends most of her article talking about how both her and Dee had an uphill battle overcoming the strong jealousy that arose at the other’s “extra-relational” dalliances and the “overwhelming” guilt that issued from their own extra relationships. But such powerful jealousy and guilt is seldom part of parenting more than one child. She concludes her article by hoping that through polys “outing” themselves, “polyamorism will become just as passé’…as lesbianism is today.” Gartrell, 1999, p. 32.

But the facts that NLLFS is initiated and conducted by lesbian activists, funded by foundations backing GLBT activism and that the Principle Investigator is outside the mainstream of the lesbian community do not mean the study is not a reputable academic investigation. It only lets us know who’s behind it and their possible motivations.

What matters is the structure, execution and reporting of the study itself. This is what we examine now.

Serious Sample Problems/Highly Motivated Participants

The problems with the study’s sample are clear to even the casual reader. First, the data for the NLLFS was collected on relatively small group: initially 84 lesbian families and (currently) 78 children (39 girls and 39 boys).

The authors explain how they gathered their subjects.

Lesbian couples – all in process of getting or currently pregnant through donor insemination – were collected through “informal networking and word of mouth referrals” but participation was also “solicited via announcements at lesbian events, in women’s bookstores, and at lesbian newspapers.” The couples were recruited – not from representative samples – but from three metropolitan areas: Boston, Washington and San Francisco.

These women were nearly all white (94%), middle- and upper-class (82%), and college educated (67%). Eighty-two percent held professional or managerial positions. The majority were in their mid-thirties at the beginning of the study. These are not run-of-the-mill lesbian or even general couples, but as the study proudly explains,

Participants were strongly lesbian-identified, 89% had come out to families of origin, 55% were open about their lesbian identity at work, 38% were active in a lesbian/gay organization at work, and 80% said they would choose to be a lesbian, if were a matter of a choice. Nanette Gartrell, et al., “The National Lesbian Family Study: 1. Interviews With Prospective Mothers,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 66 (1996): 272-281, p. 274, 275. (emphasis in original)

So these were well-educated, older mothers from more socially-supportive urban and suburban areas, actively participating in ideological lesbian-thought culture and deeply committed to being lesbian. The study further explains,

Prospective participants [solicited through known lesbian networks as explained above] were asked to contact the researchers by telephone. The study was discussed with each caller, and all interested callers became participants. Gartrell, et al., 1996, p. 274.

So these are highly motivated lesbian mothers, gathered through what researchers call snowball or convenience samples via the political lesbian culture, they are told the nature of the study – allowing each respondent to easily ascertain the social, political and academic importance of the effort – and all interested callers volunteered and were adopted into the study. It begs considering whether these realities have any impact on the fact that the study has maintained a remarkable 93% retention rate over its fifteen year history.

Considering this methodology, professor Mark Regnerus, a research sociologist at University of Texas at Austin, working from one of the top sociology of family schools in the nation, explains the qualitative weakness of gathering a research sample the way the NLLFS did:

The bottom line is that snowball samples are nice for undergrads to learn about data collection, but hardly high-quality when you’re a professional sociologist working on a complex research question with significant public ramifications. It’s not fair, not even close, to compare parenting and child outcomes from a national probability sample of hetero parents and a snowball sample of lesbian parents. Research interview with Dr. Mark Regnarus and the author, August 12, 2010.

W. Bradford Wilcox, a leading and broadly respected family sociologist at the University of Virginia and Director of the National Marriage Project offers the same caution regarding the way studies of lesbian-headed homes have been conducted to date. “You just cannot draw strong conclusions one way or another from these studies, given their methodological limits.” W. Bradford Wilcox, “Are Fathers Really Fungible?” FamilyScholars blog June 14, 2010; http://familyscholars.org/2010/06/14/are-fathers-really-fungible/

And what is more, the mothers were asked to self-report on their children’s’ well-being and development. This can lead to a “social desirability bias” where respondents are inclined to give answers that align with their convictions, rather than their actual behavior or outcomes.

Very Curious Findings

This study – as well as other notable studies conducted by well-known lesbian activist scholars – have come to very curious conclusions that run strongly contrary to reason and the larger body of sociological and psychological literature on family form and child well-being. Timothy J. Biblarz and Judith Stacey, “How Does The Gender of Parents Matter?” Journal of Marriage and Family 72 (2010): 3-22. Let us look at two major findings.

Two Moms Are Better: Like we saw in the Time article quoted above, the NLLFS concludes that,

The NLLFS adolescents demonstrated higher levels of social, school/academic, and total competence than gender-matched normative samples of American teenagers. Gartrell and Bos, 2010, p. 6.

This means that – according this study – adolescents with lesbian moms did better in important measures of well-being than children in the general population. This could very well be true, given the very favorable settings that mark the lesbian homes participating in this study. But it doesn’t tell us anything about what the average lesbian-headed homes raising children from birth are likely to produce.

Another major analysis conducted by GLBT supportive researchers found largely the same thing. Conducted by Timothy Biblarz and Judith Stacey, published in the highly respected Journal of Marriage and Family (2010) – and plagued by similar methodological shortcomings as the NLLFS Wilcox, 2010. – this study claims,

In fact, based strictly on the social science, one could argue that two women parent better on average than a man and a woman, or at least a woman and man with a traditional division of labor. Lesbian coparents seem to outperform comparable married heterosexual biological parents on several measures even while being denied the substantial privileges of marriage. Timothy J. Biblarz and Judith Stacey, “How Does The Gender of Parents Matter?” Journal of Marriage and Family 72 (2010): 3-22, p. 17.

In other words, lesbian parents beat biological parents with one arm tied behind their back. It is an over-reaching conclusion. However, Biblarz and Stacey claim this superior value in lesbian families is because two mothers provide “a double dose of caretaking, communication, and intimacy.” Biblarz and Stacey, 2010, p. 17.

One should conclude then, that having fathers tends to handicap children. However, this flies in the face of over four decades and hundreds of published studies indicating that fathers play an irreplaceable role in fostering healthy child-development in ways that mothers do not. Ronald P. Rohner and Robert A. Veneziano, “The Importance of Father Love: History and Contemporary Evidence,” Review of General Psychology 5.4 (2001): 382-405. And it has been demonstrated consistently that children who grow up apart from their fathers face serious difficulties and short-comings compared to children raised by their mother and father. David Popenoe, Life Without Father: Compelling New Evidence That Fatherhood and Marriage are Indispensable for the Good of Children and Society, (New York: The Free Press, 1996). This data has been persuasive enough to compel the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations to institute federal programs to encourage strong fatherhood involvement in the lives of children.

Greater Break-Up/No Harm: The NLLSF found “significant difference” in family dissolution rates between the lesbian and mother/father headed families over the years of the study. The lesbian homes broke up at much higher rates compared with heterosexual families (56% vs. 36%). Gartrell, Bos, and Goldberg, 2011, p. 1201.

The Biblarz/Stacey review also reported a significantly higher divorce/dissolution rate among the lesbian headed, citing one major comparative study where, in the 5-year period of the study, 6 of the 14 lesbian-headed homes had broken up compared to only 5 of the 38 mom/dad headed homes. This was because, they explained, the “comparatively high standards lesbians bring to their intimate unions correlate with higher dissolution rates.” Biblarz and Stacey, 2010, p. 12.

And a major study comparing Scandinavian same-sex and heterosexual union dissolution rates found that male/male unions break up at double the rate of male/female unions and lesbian unions break up at double the rate of the male/male unions. Gunnar Andersson, et al., “The Demographics of Same-Sex Marriages in Norway and Sweden,” Demography 43 (2006): 79-98, p. 93.

This is of serious concern because numerous studies have long shown that family instability and divorce have substantial negative and long-term consequences for child well-being. Paula Fomby and Andrew J. Cherlin, “Family Instability and Child Well-Being,” American Sociological Review, 72 (2007): 181-204; Hyun Sik Kim, “Consequences of Parental Divorce for Child Development,” American Sociological Review, 76 (2011) 487-511.

But here is the other remarkable finding from the NLLFS,

Within the lesbian family sample, no…differences were found among adolescent offspring…whose mothers were still together and offspring whose mothers had separated. Gartrell and Bos, 2010, p. 1.

And “adolescents whose mothers had separated since [the studies beginning] fared as well in psychological adjustment as those whose mothers were still together” Gartrell and Bos, 2010, p. 7.

Remarkable. However, the NLLFS fails to note how this finding is strongly at odds with the larger body of literature on family dissolution and child well-being. And this “no-effect” finding from the break-up of lesbian homes surely results from the remarkably small sample size utilized than lack of true effect.

But it must be said. If the NLLFS and Biblarz/Stacey studies are to be believed, they seem to indicate that lesbian headed families are the new super-families because they show better results than mother/father headed homes and when they do break up, they show no harm.

Or…

We could question whether these particular lesbian mothers – drafted through their deep commitment to lesbian culture and causes, knowing they are participating in the important US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study and allowed to self-report how well their children – can offer the kind of careful, objective data-reporting a study like this should be built upon.

There are enough serious questions about the nature and methodology of the NLLFS to require a more critical and sober look at the study’s conclusions than most professionals and journalists have given it.

A serious topic like is drastically deserving of more careful, less partisan research.

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    Rhonda Stoppe

    Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

    Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

    Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

    Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

    Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

    They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

    Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

    Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

    Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

    Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

    Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

    A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

    What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 2

    Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

    Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

    Mrs. Debra Fileta

    Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

    Are You Really Okay?

    Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

    In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

    Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

    As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

    Headshot of Kevin Thompson

    Pastor Kevin Thompson

    Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

    Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

    Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

    With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

    Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

    You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

    Mr. Greg Koukl

    Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

    Tactics front cover

    Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

    In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

    Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

    Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

    Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

    Debra Fileta

    Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

    Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

    Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

    How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

    As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

    Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

    Mrs. Patti Giebink

    Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

    Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

    Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

    Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

    Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

    As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

    Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

    Mrs. Wendy Speake

    With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

    Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

    The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

    Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

    Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

    Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

    Dr. Kevin Leman

    Dr. Kevin Leman

    Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

    Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

    Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

    Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

    Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

    Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

    Dr. Kevin Leman

    Dr. Kevin Leman

    Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

    Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

    Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

    Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

    Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

    Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

    Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

    Debra Fileta

    Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

    Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

    Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

    Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

    Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

    Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

    Dr. Lee Warren

    W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

    Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

    I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

    This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

    Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

    Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

    Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

    Jodie Berndt

    Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

    Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

    Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

    You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

    Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

    Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

    Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

    Rhonda Stoppe

    Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

    Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

    Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

    Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

    Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

    They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

    Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

    Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

    Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

    Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

    Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

    A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

    What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

    Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

    Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

    Mrs. Debra Fileta

    Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

    Are You Really Okay?

    Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

    In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

    Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

    As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

    Mrs. Meg Meeker

    Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

    Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

    Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

    Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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    Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

    In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
    say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
    just a clump of cells!

    Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

    Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

    Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

    Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you! 

    Focus on the Family

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