Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Rachel H. Farr


Given that family processes change when a child enters adolescence, it is imperative for research to utilize longitudinal analyses to capture a family unit’s development over time. This research is especially lacking amongst diverse families, such as those formed utilizing adoption or headed by same-gender parents. Utilizing both the Parenting Stress Model and Family Systems Theory, it has been shown that family dynamics are key indicators when predicting functioning within a family, opposed to family structure. Therefore, it is hypothesized that there will be no significant differences related to family processes (e.g., family functioning, parenting stress, adolescent adjustment, and social support) between lesbian, gay, (LG) and heterosexual adoptive parents. Further, it is hypothesized that previous reports of parenting stress and child behavior can predict current levels of adolescent adjustment and family functioning. The present study includes data from adoptive parents from a third wave of data collection from the Contemporary Adoptive Family Study (N = 57 adoptive parents). Outcomes (e.g., social support family functioning, parenting stress, and adolescent behavior) were not related to family structure. Further, previous reports of child behavior and family functioning predicted current family functioning. Previous aggregated reports of child behavior at previous time points predicted current adolescent adjustment. Implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This study was supported by the William T. Grant Foundation (number: 188069) from 07/01/2018 - 06/30/2023