Emerging adulthood is a developmental period in which family relationships are important, yet research provides evidence that adoptive families have lower relationship quality compared to their nonadoptive counterparts. Despite some support for a relationship between adoption and adoptee-adoptive mother relationships during emerging adulthood, no systematic investigation has occurred. Utilizing self-report and observational data from the Sibling Interaction and Behavior Study, two studies employed hierarchical regression analyses to extend knowledge of the relationship between adoption and adoptee-adoptive mother relationships during emerging adulthood. Study 1 investigated the association between adoptee-reported adoption-related variables and the self-reported and observed relationships adoptees have with their adoptive mothers during emerging adulthood. Emerging adult adoptees who felt more positively about adoption had higher closeness and relationship quality and lower conflict with adoptive mothers. Additionally, transracial emerging adult adoptees were found to have lower conflict and higher relationship quality with adoptive mothers compared to inracial adoptees. Study 2 investigated the association between adoptive mother-reported adoption-related variables and the self-reported and observed relationships adoptive mothers have with their adopted children during emerging adulthood. Findings suggest that adoptive mothers' attitudes about adoption and adoption type (inracial vs. transracial) had little association with the relationships they had with their emerging adult adoptees.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2015. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: Martha Rueter. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 95 pages.
Adoption and Emerging Adult-Mother Relationship Quality: Is There an Association?.
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