ERIC Number: EJ718273
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan
Gaining a Child: Comparing the Experiences of Biological Parents, Adoptive Parents, and Stepparents
Ceballo, Rosario; Lansford, Jennifer E.; Abbey, Antonia; Stewart, Abigail J.
Family Relations, v53 n1 p38-48 Jan 2004
This study compares the experience of gaining a child through birth, adoption, or marriage, extending the focus of investigation beyond biological parenthood and the transition made by first-time parents. Using a subsample from the National Survey of Families and Households N=204, we compared reasons for having children, parental well-being, family relationships, and work roles among parents who gained a child biologically, through adoption, or by becoming a stepparent. Overall, there were many similarities in the impact of gaining a child across the three parental groups. Repeated measures analyses of covariance showed that across family groups, after gaining a child, respondents reported less depressed affect, more disagreements with their spouse, and more support from their own parents. The differences across groups suggest that the experience of becoming an adoptive parent or a stepparent may be less stressful than the adjustment to biological parenthood.
Descriptors: Parents, Family Relationship, Adoption, Family (Sociological Unit), Birth, Well Being, Marital Satisfaction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Survey of Families and Households