Predictors of school engagement among same-sex and heterosexual adoptive parents of Kindergarteners
Little research has explored parental engagement in schools in the context of adoptive parent families or same-sex parent families. The current cross-sectional study explored predictors of parents' self-reported school involvement, relationships with teachers, and school satisfaction, in a sample of 103 female same-sex, male same-sex, and heterosexual adoptive parent couples (196 parents) of kindergarten-age children. Parents who reported more contact by teachers about positive or neutral topics (e.g., their child's good grades) reported more involvement and greater satisfaction with schools, regardless of family type. Parents who reported more contact by teachers about negative topics (e.g., their child's behavior problems) reported better relationships with teachers but lower school satisfaction, regardless of family type. Regarding the broader school context, across all family types, parents who felt more accepted by other parents reported more involvement and better parent-teacher relationships; socializing with other parents was related to greater involvement. Regarding the adoption-specific variables, parents who perceived their children's schools as more culturally sensitive were more involved and satisfied with the school, regardless of family type. Perceived cultural sensitivity mattered more for heterosexual adoptive parents' relationships with their teachers than it did for same-sex adoptive parents. Finally, heterosexual adoptive parents who perceived high levels of adoption stigma in their children's schools were less involved than those who perceived low levels of stigma, whereas same-sex adoptive parents who perceived high levels of stigma were more involved than those who perceived low levels of stigma. Our findings have implications for school professionals, such as school psychologists, who work with diverse families.
Journal of School Psychology
Goldberg, Abbie E. and Smith, Juli Anna Z., "Predictors of school engagement among same-sex and heterosexual adoptive parents of Kindergarteners" (2014). Psychology. 375.