Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1318-7137

Year of Publication

2021

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department/School/Program

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Rachel H. Farr

Abstract

Sparse research has examined academic outcomes of children adopted from foster care by lesbian and gay (LG) parents. Children who have experienced foster care are at greater risk for negative outcomes, but investment in academic achievement could help buffer potential adversity. Parent and student engagement with school peaks in middle childhood, so this may be an important period for understanding processes that influence academic achievement. This study explores how LG parents (N = 57) of school-aged children (Mage = 10.56 years) adopted from foster care in the U.S. involve themselves in their child’s school, how this involvement may influence children’s own engagement with school, and how these forces impact academic achievement—specifically school grades, social competence, and scholastic awards. Using bioecological theory, the present study provides evidence consistent with pre-existing models of student school engagement and parent school involvement in predicting the academic achievement of children within this unique family system. Parent school involvement had a significant positive indirect effect on both children’s grades and social competence but was not related to scholastic awards. This work holds important implications for the advancement of policy, law, and home-school interventions supporting LG parent families and children adopted through foster care.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2021.358

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