Psychology

Title

Lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents’ perspectives on their adopted children’s puberty and approaches to puberty-related communication

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This study explored how adoptive parents perceive their children’s adoptive status as impacting their experience of puberty, how they manage uncertainty associated with their children’s transition to puberty, and how they communicate with their children about puberty, using data from 60 adoptive parents, including lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and heterosexual mothers and fathers. Findings revealed that some parents used information gleaned from birth family, the adoption community, and pediatricians to reduce uncertainty associated with puberty. Parents, particularly lesbian/gay parents and parents of girls, described an open, progressively nuanced approach to communicating about puberty; other approaches included one-sided and information-oriented, avoidant and “hands off,” and delayed due to perceived lack of child “readiness.” Parents’ approach to puberty-related communication overlapped with how they conceptualized and approached communication about adoption.

Publication Title

Journal of Family Communication

Publication Date

2022

Volume

22

Issue

3

First Page

248

Last Page

270

ISSN

1526-7431

DOI

10.1080/15267431.2022.2097236

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