Adolescents conceived using medically assisted reproduction (MAR), as a continually growing population in the U.S., may be at risk for adjustment problems due to three challenging parenting tasks faced by their families. These challenges include a high likelihood of parental pregnancy loss, raising twins, and whether and when parents should tell children about being conceived using MAR. This dissertation investigated psychosocial adjustment of MAR-conceived adolescents in relation to these parenting challenges within family contexts in two studies. Study 1 tested a moderated mediation model that proposes a possible family process through which a pile-up stressors of pregnancy loss and twin status indirectly influence adolescent psychosocial adjustment in a sample of 278 adolescents from 193 families. Results suggest pregnancy loss has long-lasting, differential effects on parental emotions at middle childhood when parenting twins versus singletons, which relates to subsequent adolescent adjustment. Study 2 examined adolescent psychosocial adjustment following the MAR information sharing within family communication environments using multiple group analysis in a sample of 163 adolescents from 115 families. Results indicate a complex picture that family communication environments interplay with the timing of MAR information sharing to influence adolescent psychosocial adjustment. These studies suggest a critical role of family contextual factors in shaping MAR-conceived adolescents’ psychosocial adjustment.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2019. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: Martha Reuter. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 60 pages.
Understanding Adjustment of Adolescents Conceived Using Medically Assisted Reproduction within Family Contexts.
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