An Australian report on the children of same-sex couples has revealed that they have higher self-esteem, greater family cohesion, and better overall health than the national average.

The Australian study of child health in same-sex families is the world’s largest attempt to study how children raised by same-sex couples compare to children raised by heterosexual couples.

According to a preliminary report on the study of 500 children across the country of Australia, young people are not only thriving, but they also have higher rates of family cohesion than other families.

The study looked at important indicators including self-esteem, emotional behaviour and the amount of time spent with parents.

Children of same-sex couples scored higher than the national average for overall health and how well the family gets along.

The researchers hypothesised that if a student experiences stigma at school, the families of same-sex couples are “generally more willing to communicate and approach the issues”, resulting in a closer family dynamic.

In another recent study by the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Family Research it was found that children adopted by same-sex parents do not suffer any disadvantage and that the vast majority were not bullied at school.

Professor Susan Golombok, director of the Cambridge centre and report co-author, said: “What I don’t like is when people make assumptions that a certain type of family, such as gay fathers, will be bad for children.

“The anxieties about the potentially negative effects for children of being placed with gay fathers seem to be, from our study, unfounded.”