Theoretical Perspectives on Adoptive Families' Well-Being: Which Comparison Groups Are Most Appropriate?


Journal Article

In this article, we review alternative approaches to selecting appropriate comparison groups when assessing the well-being of members in adoptive families. We consider four theoretical perspectives, each emphasizing the importance of different features of families in determining relationship quality and well-being. The four theoretical approaches reviewed in relation to adoption research include stigmatization, socialization, biological, and family process models. Each leads to somewhat different hypotheses as to how adoptive family members' well-being compares to that of families with two biological parents, single parents, and stepparents. We conclude that designs that permit researchers to assess family processes are crucial in allowing researchers to determine whether apparent family structure differences hold up after accounting for variance within family types. © 2001 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Caballo, R; Stewart, AJ; Lansford, JE; Abbey, A

Published Date

  • September 1, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 85 - 105

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1540-9635

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0149-4929

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1300/J002v33n04_07

Citation Source

  • Scopus