Susan Golombok


9 Noviembre, 2006



My background is in the field of Psychology. I graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1976 and then moved to London University Institute of Education where I took an MSc in Child Development in 1977. My PhD research, completed in 1982, was carried out at London University Institute of Psychiatry and focused on the development of children in lesbian mother families.

I spent the first 10 years of my working life at the Institute of Psychiatry. My first position, in the Department of Psychiatry, involved a series of studies of the efficacy of different therapeutic approaches for the treatment of sexual dysfunction, as well as the development of two questionnaires; the Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) and the Golombok Rust Inventory of Marital State (GRIMS). I then moved to the Department of Psychopharmacology where I worked on the psychological consequences of long-term tranquilliser use and also designed treatment programmes for patients who had become dependent on tranquillisers. While employed in these research positions, I carried out my PhD research on children in lesbian mother families in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

In 1987 I moved to the Department of Psychology at City University, London, first as a lecturer and later as a Reader and then Professor. I established the Family and Child Psychology Research Centre there in 1989 to carry out research on parenting and child development in new family forms, and was Director from 1989 until I moved to the University of Cambridge as Professor of Family Research and Director of the Centre for Family Research in January 2006.

Current research

My research focuses on new family forms with an emphasis on parent-child relationships and children’s social, emotional and gender development in lesbian mother families, solo mother families and families with children conceived by assisted reproduction. Current projects include a longitudinal study of surrogacy, donor insemination and egg donation families; a comparison between donor insemination families where parents have disclosed the donor conception to the child and families where parents have not disclosed this information; and a study of young adults who have been raised in lesbian mother families from birth. I am also involved in a collaborative project with Professor Melissa Hines on the gender development of children in a large population sample (the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children). In collaboration with Professor John Rust, I have been involved in the UK standardisation of a number of widely used assessments of children’s cognitive and language development such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children 4 th Edition (WISC IV) and the Clinical Evaluation of Language Functioning 4th Edition (CELF IV).

Other activities

I am a Trustee of the Laura Ashley Foundation and a Trustee of One plus One. I have been involved in policy issues as a member of the government Surrogacy Review Committee and have advised the Department of Health on issues regarding assisted reproduction and lesbian mother families. I have sat on advisory committees relating to research projects conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Sainsbury Trust, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood, and Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals. I am also a Professorial Fellow at Newnham College.


Curran, V. & Golombok, S. (1985) Bottling It Up. Faber & Faber, London. Also published in the Netherlands, Germany and the United States.

Rust, J. & Golombok, S. (1989) Modern Psychometrics: The science of psychological assessment, Routledge, London & New York.

Golombok, S. & Fivush, R. (1994) Gender Development, Cambridge University Press, New York & Cambridge.

Tasker, F. & Golombok, S. (1997) Growing up in a Lesbian Family. Guilford Press, New York.

Rust, J. & Golombok, S. (1999) 2nd edition Modern Psychometrics: The science of psychological assessment, Routledge, London & New York.

Golombok, S. (2000) Parenting: What really counts? Routledge, London.

Tasker, F. & Golombok, S (2002) Grandir dans une famille lesbienne: Quels effets sur le développement de l’enfant? Issy-les-Moulineaux, ESF éditeur.