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The relationship between children’s adoption status and behavioral outcomes : mediating effect of parenting practices Woods, Kristen

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between adoption statuses on multiple measures of child behavioral outcomes, mediated by parenting practices. Data from the first wave of National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) was used to look at 145 adopted children (51 females and 77 males) between 4-11 years of age. Investment theory and sociobiological theory is used as the framework and suggested that adoptive parents invest less in parenting than genetically related parents, resulting in different child behavior outcomes. The data was examined to observe (1) if there is a difference in parenting practices between adoptive parents and biological parents; (2) if child outcomes are related to parenting practices; and (3) if child outcomes differ for adopted children versus biological children when parenting practices are controlled. The results that were found fail to support the hypotheses and instead lend some credibility to the view that intact adoptive parental practices and child behaviors do not differ from intact biological parental practices and child behavior. This research exposes myths regarding adoptive statuses for future adoptive parents and adopted children.

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