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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Relationship Between Adoptive Parents Attachment and Parenting Styles on Adoption Outcomes
by Harkins, Courtney Amanda Ball, Psy.D., Alliant International University, 2014, 129; 3637413
Abstract (Summary)

Raising an adopted child from the child welfare system poses unique challenges because these children bring with them an increased risk for developmental and mental health problems (Simmel, 2007; Whitten & Weaver, 2010). Adoptions from Child Welfare have almost doubled in the last decade, comprising up to 41% of all adoptions (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2012). Of these adoptions, anywhere from 10% to 25% end up disrupting (Briggs & Webb, 2004; Festinger, 2002; Rosenthal & Groze, 1994; Smith & Howard, 2000). Thus, it is important to identify and understand which factors can likely increase adoption success or which ones are more likely to create barriers. Currently, there are some studies that have identified specific adoptive child traits that increase disruption (Barth, 1997; Barth & Berry, 1988; Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, 2010; Rosenthal & Grove, 1990) along with some family factors (Barth, 2000; Coakley & Berrick, 2008; Festinger, 2002). However, two important family systems aspects, involving qualities that the adoptive parent themselves bring to the process, have thus far been overlooked in the research: attachment styles and parenting styles. In order to shed more light on this neglected aspect of the adoptive process, this study investigated whether or not there was a relationship between an adoptive caregiver's own attachment style or parenting style and adoption outcomes. The logistic regression method was used in the analysis of a convenience sample of 113 adoptive parents and it was found that two parental factors were the most influential in predicting adoption outcomes: anxious attachment style and authoritative parenting style. Additionally, incidence of trauma in the parent's history was identified as a factor that negatively impacted the chance of adoption success. The implications or clinical practice and research are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Michaels, Marcia L.
Commitee: Brown, Steve, Grand, Michael P.
School: Alliant International University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Developmental psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Adoption, Attachment, Disruption, Parenting styles
Publication Number: 3637413
ISBN: 978-1-321-20192-5
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