Tri-parenting or Try Parenting? Online Posts About a Potentially Stigmatized Family Structure

Loriena Yancura, Bridget A. Walsh, Melissa A. Barnett, Michelle Hoover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This exploratory study investigates existing views on the practice of tri-parenting and perceived reasons for potential stigma towards families in tri-parenting relationships. Two themes emerged from 448 posts on five online copies of an article about tri-parenting: domains of comparison and attitudes toward family. Findings from a generic qualitative approach reveal that the majority of anonymous comments posted in response to these articles about tri-parenting were negative, thus potentially associated with stigma. Four categories of potential attitudes underlying statements toward these families also emerged from the data: tradition/slippery slope, complicated, deviance, and welfare. Further analysis suggests that in the case of tri-parenting, family unusualness is related to family stigma and that stigmatizing comparisons are made based on concerns in social and legal domains. Results are discussed in terms of future research and implications for minimizing family stigma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-498
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • culture
  • non-traditional families
  • qualitative
  • stigma
  • tri-parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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