Degree Granting Department
Psychological and Social Foundations
Tony X. Tan, Ed.D.
Shannon M. Suldo, Ph.D.
Robert F. Dedrick, Ph.D.
China, externalizing, family environment, internalizing, international adoption
Although there have been many studies investigating international adoptees' outcomes in relation to their pre-adoption experiences, there is a paucity of research investigating the influence of post-adoption experiences. Guided by the proximity of the family to the child in Bronfenbrenner's (1979) ecological systems theory of human development, this study addressed a gap in the literature by investigating the interrelationships among family-related variables (e.g., stress in family environment, parenting behavior) and 648 internationally adopted Chinese girls' behavior problems. Moderate, positive relationships were found between family stress and both internalizing (r = .43, p < .001) and externalizing (r = .59, p < .001) behavior problems. Modest, inverse relationships were found between authoritative parenting and both internalizing (r = -.08, p < .01) and externalizing (r = -.15, p < .001) behavior problems. Additionally, modest to moderate, positive relationships were found between authoritarian and permissive parenting and internalizing (r = .18, p < .001; r = .19, p < .001, respectively) and externalizing (r = .39, p < .001; r = .34, p < .001, respectively) behavior problems. Finally, authoritarian and permissive parenting behaviors were partial mediators between family stress and both internalizing (R2 = .08, p < .001; R2 = .08, p < .001, respectively) and externalizing (R2 = .20, p < .001; R2 = .16, p < .001, respectively) behavior problems while authoritative parenting was not a mediator to either type of behavior problem. The implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Scholar Commons Citation
Gelley, Cheryl, "The Interrelationships Among Family Stress, Parenting Behavior, and Behavior Problems: An Investigation of Internationally Adopted Chinese Girls" (2011). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.