Theoretical Perspectives on Adoptive Families' Well-Being: Which Comparison Groups Are Most Appropriate?
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.
Caballo, R; Stewart, AJ; Lansford, JE; Abbey, A
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