ERIC Number: EJ903802
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
The Characteristics and Well-Being of Adopted Stepchildren
Stewart, Susan D.
Family Relations, v59 n5 p558-571 Dec 2010
This study draws upon 22,680 children from the 2002 National Survey of America's Families to investigate the demographic and family characteristics and well-being of stepchildren who have been adopted by a stepparent (n = 140) relative to children with 2 biological parents, children with 2 adoptive parents, and children with 1 biological parent and 1 nonadoptive stepparent. Five percent of all stepchildren and one quarter of all adopted children have been adopted by a stepparent. How the characteristics of adopted stepchildren compare to those of other children depends on the child's age--whereas younger adopted stepchildren are most similar to children with 2 biological parents, older adopted stepchildren are most similar to nonadopted stepchildren. Adopted stepchildren of all ages have significantly more behavior and emotional problems than children with 2 biological parents, but have similar levels of school engagement. There were no significant differences between children with 2 adoptive parents, nonadopted stepchildren, and adopted stepchildren on any measure of well-being regardless of the child's age. Implications for practice and policy include increasing awareness of adopted stepchildren and paying greater attention to the legal context under which stepchildren are adopted.
Descriptors: Emotional Problems, Family Characteristics, Parents, Adoption, Family Structure, Well Being, Children, Individual Characteristics, National Surveys, Comparative Analysis, Age Differences, Behavior Problems, Student Attitudes, Student Participation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A