ERIC Number: ED323735
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-May
Reference Count: N/A
Adoptive and Birth Family Adjustment to Rearing Retarded Children.
Glidden, Laraine Masters; Bush, Beverly A.
The study identified 81 families who adopted children with mental retardation or at risk for mental retardation, and compared them with 61 matched families with similar birth children. For birth families, the initial diagnosis was a time of crisis, with high depression scores, while scores at follow-up (an average of 5.3 years later) indicated no significant depression. Adoptive families showed no significant depression at initial placement of the child or at follow-up. Birth mothers reported more limits on family opportunities, more family disharmony, more concern with the lifespan nature of the commitment to the target child, more financial stress, and more acknowledgement of the personal burden of caring for the target child than adoptive mothers. No differences were found on the lack of personal reward, terminal illness stress, or the preference for institutional care. Adoptive mothers scored higher on measures of family pride, family accord, and marital happiness and consensuality. It is concluded that: (1) adoption is a successful intervention for children with disabilities as measured by parent and family functioning; and (2) birth parents recover from their depression at the time of diagnosis and become better adjusted. Includes five references. (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association on Mental Retardation (14th, Atlanta, GA, May 27-31, 1990). Funds were also provided from St. Mary's College of Maryland Faculty Development Grants.