BACKGROUND: With the increasing use of Medically Assisted Reproduction (MAR) in conception, telling children how they were conceived becomes an important issue. Grounded in the Family Communication Patterns Theory (FCPT), this study examined the moderating effect of family communication climate on the association between disclosure and child adjustment problems. METHODS: Participants were 84 6- to 12-year-old children conceived using MAR with the intended parents' own gametes or gametes provided by a donor. Parents self-reported if children knew about their conception method and child adjustment problems through an online survey. Family communication climate was determined by observed family communication behavior of parents and children. RESULTS: Multiple regression models supported the hypothesized moderating effect of family communication climate on the association between disclosure and child adjustment problems. The statistically significant negative interaction suggested, in families with an open communication climate, disclosure tended to be associated with fewer child adjustment problems. In families with a closed communication climate, disclosure was associated with more child adjustment problems. CONCLUSIONS: While limited by a small sample size of disclosed children and a cross-sectional design, this study's findings provide preliminary but sound demonstration of the potentially important role of family communication climate. Rethinking the outcomes of disclosure through the lens of family communication climate is needed.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. May 2015. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: Martha Rueter. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 46 pages.
Evaluate the Association between Disclosure and Child Adjustment within Family Communication Climate.
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