Adoptive versus Mixed Families: Child Adjustment, Parenting Stress and Family Environment
- 566 Downloads
Recent research in adoption has considered the factors and processes that underlie the adjustment of children and families. However, little research has been conducted on certain types of adoptive families, specifically on families with both adoptive and biological children often designated as mixed families. This subject is addressed by the present study which also analyzes the association between the type of adoptive family and children’s outcomes—prosocial and problem behavior—parenting stress and the relational family environment. It also examines whether children’s gender, age at adoption and the number of children in the home moderate these effects. 102 parents of adoptive children (ACF) 33 parents of both adoptive and biological children (ABCF) and 102 parents of biological children (BCF) participated in the study. Target-children were aged from 6 to 12 years. The Portuguese versions of the SDQ-P, PSI-SF and FES (Interpersonal Relationship dimension) were used. Results showed that the type of adoptive family—ACF and ABCF—significantly explained the variance of children’s behavioral problems and parenting stress. The child’s gender was shown to moderate the relationship between ACF parents and their perception of child’s prosocial behavior. The results give relevant clues as to the importance of distinct outcomes in adoptive families—ACF and ABCF—compared to families with only biological children and should, therefore, be a resource for professionals involved in the adopters’ suitability assessment and adoption intervention.
KeywordsAdoption Children’s adjustment Family environment Parenting stress Type of adoptive family
This study was supported by the Ph.D. grant of the first author SFRH/BD/88077/2012, financed by the Technology and Science Foundation (FCT).
Conceptualization: M.S.-N., I.N., S.V.-S. Methodology: M.S.-N., I.N., S.V.-S., M.S.R. Supervision: M.S.-N., I.N., S.V.-S., M.S.R. Writing—Original Draft Preparation: M.S.-N. Writing—Review and Editing: M.S.-N., I.N., S.V.-S., M.S.R.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the research committee of the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Lisbon and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all the participants included in the study.
- Abidin, R. R. (1995). Parenting stress index—professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
- Askeland, K. G., Hysing, M., La Greca, A. M., Aarø, L. E., Tell, G. S., & Sivertsen, B. (2017). Mental health in internationally adopted adolescents: a meta-analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 56(3), 203–213. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2016.12.009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Benson, P. L., Sharma, A. R., & Roehlkepartain, E. C. (1994). Growing up adopted: a portrait of adolescents and their families. Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute.Google Scholar
- Brodzinsky, D.M. & Pinderhughes, E. (2002). Parenting and child development in adoptive families. In M.H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting: Vol. 1: children and parenting (2nd ed.). (pp. 279–311). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Fleitlich, B., Loureiro, M., Fonseca, A., & Gaspar, M. (2005). Questionário de Capacidades e de Dificuldades (SDQ-Por). http://www.sdqinfo.org. Accessed 10 Mar 2015.
- Gibson, K. (2009). Differential parental investment in families with both adopted and genetic children. Evolution and Human Behavior, 30, 184–189. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.01.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Goodman, R. (1997). The strengths and difficulties questionnaire: a research note. Journal of Child Psychology, Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, 38, 581–586. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.1997.tb01545.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Grotevant, H. D., & McDermott, J. M. (2014). Adoption: biological and social processes linked to adaptation. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 235–265. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115020.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hodges, J., Steele, M., Hillman, S., Henderson, K. & Kaniuk, J. (2005). Change and continuity in mental representations of attachment after adoption. In D.M. Brodzinsky, J. Palacios (Eds.), Psychological issues in adoption: research and practice (pp. 93–116). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers/Greenwood Publishing Group.Google Scholar
- IBM Corp. (2014). IBM SPSS statistics for windows. Armonk, NY: Author. ReleasedVersion23.0.Google Scholar
- Kumsta, R., Kreppner, J., Kennedy, M., Knights, N., Rutter, M., & Sonuga-Barke, E. (2015). Psychological consequences of early global deprivation: an overview of findings from the English & Romanian Adoptees study. European Psychologist, 20, 138–151. https://doi.org/10.1027/1016-9040/a000227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lansford, J. E., Ceballo, R., Abbey, A., & Stewart, A. J. (2001). Does family structure matter? A comparison of adoptive, two-parent biological, single-mother, stepfather, and stepmother households. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 63, 840–851. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2001.00840.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- León, E., Palacios, J., Román, M., Moreno, C., & Peñarrubia, M. G. (2015). Parental stress, family functioning and children’s psychological adjustment in adoptive families: a comparative and longitudinal study. Family Science, 6, 50–57. https://doi.org/10.1080/19424620.2015.1080991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Marzocchi, G. M., Capron, C., Di Pietro, M., Tauleria, E. D., Duyme, M., Frigerio, A., et al. (2004). The use of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) in Southern European countries. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 13, 40–46. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-004-2007-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Moos, R. H., & Moos, B. S. (1994). Family environment scale manual (3rd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
- Neece, C. L., Green, S. A., & Baker, B. L. (2012). Parenting stress and child behavior problems: a transactional relationship across time. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 117, 48–66. https://doi.org/10.1352/1944-7558-117.1.48.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Palácios, J. (2000). Familias adoptivas. In M.J. Rodrigo, J. Palácios (Eds.), Família e desarrollo humano (pp. 353–371). Madrid: Alianza Editorial.Google Scholar
- Santos, M., & Fontaine, A.M. (1995). Avaliação do ambiente familiar por crianças e pré-adolescentes: Alguns aspectos da adaptaçãoo da FES [Children and adolescents assessment of the family environment: features of the adaptation of the FES]. In L.S. Almeida & I.S. Ribeiro (Orgs.), Avaliação Psicológica: Formas e Contextos (pp. 421–430). Braga: APPORT.Google Scholar
- Santos, S.V. (2008). Forma reduzida do Parenting Stress Índex (PSI): Estudo preliminar [Parenting Stress Index (PSI)—short form: preliminary study]. Braga: XIII Conferência Internacional Avaliação Formas e Contextos.Google Scholar
- Segal, N. L., Li, N. P., Graham, J. L., & Miller, S. A. (2015). Do parents favor their adoptive or biological children? Predictions from kin selection and compensatory models. Evolution and Human Behavior, 36, 379–388. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.03.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Woodman, A. C., Mawdsley, H. P., & Hauser-Cram, P. (2015). Parenting stress and child behavior problems within families of children with developmental disabilities: transactional relations across 15 years. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 36, 264–276. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2014.10.011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar