Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The relationship among adult-attachment style, adult personality, and parenting stress in adults who adopt maltreated children
by Zuck, Greta A., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2009, 111; 3368185
Abstract (Summary)

The number of adults who adopt children from U.S. state custody has substantially increased over the last 2 decades. Due to histories of maltreatment, such children often enter their new adoptive homes with a multitude of emotional and behavioral challenges which prove difficult to parent, thereby causing much stress to family and parent-child relationship functioning. Much research exists regarding how child related characteristics impact adoption outcomes; however, less research exists regarding the relationship between adult characteristics and adoption outcomes. The objective of this study was to consider how two constructs—adult personality and adult attachment style—impact outcomes in adoptive families via a measure of parenting stress. A correlational study was conducted on a convenience sample of 78 adults who adopted children from state custody, and a hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis was used to examine the relationships among the study variables. Several statistically significant associations were found between personality traits, adult attachment style, and parenting stress. As predicted, the personality traits of agreeableness, emotional stability, extroversion, and intellect/openness to experience were significantly negatively related to parenting stress. That is, participants who scored higher in these traits experienced less parenting stress than those who scored lower in these traits. Adult-attachment style was also found to have a significant, positive relationship to parenting; participants who endorsed higher scores in attachment-related anxiety and/or avoidance experienced significantly more parenting stress than those with lower scores in these styles. These findings provide educational information for adoption agencies, as well as useful information for adults who are considering adopting children from state custody.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Haussmann, Robert
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 70/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Personality psychology, Individual & family studies, Public policy
Keywords: Adoption, Adult attachment style, Adult personality, Attachment, Foster care adoption, Parenting stress, Personality, Public adoption
Publication Number: 3368185
ISBN: 978-1-109-29047-9
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