The proposed research will examine families who have adopted children with, or at risk for developmental disabilities, and will compare them on current family functioning with matched birth families. The broadest aim is to track adjustment over time, delineating the variables at one time measurement that are predictive of functioning at a later time measurement. Of particular interest are parental personality and religiosity, and their relationship to coping strategies. Using interviews, summative and contextualized self-reports, and peer ratings, this project will test a model that predicts that parental personality and religiosity along with child characteristics, influence initial adjustment to a child with disabilities, and both directly and indirectly through earlier adjustment, coping strategies, and parenting daily environment also influence long-term adjustment.
Specific aims are as follows: (1) To determine whether the initial differences in functioning between adoptive and birth families and between families within each of those samples, continue over the long-term, and to identify what variables are related to those differences; (2) To explore the relationships between and among the five global factors of parental personality, religiosity, coping strategies, and daily parenting environment; (3) To assess the relationship between microanalytic measures of well-being, coping, and hassles, with summative, macroanalytic measures; and (4) To identify relevant child characteristics, including level of functioning, diagnosis, and behavioral characteristics, that influence family adjustment. This research has important health consequences for identifying families at risk for later dysfunction, thus enabling the implementation of appropriate interventions, and facilitating primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention efforts.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Human Development and Aging Subcommittee 3 (HUD)
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St. Mary's College of Maryland
Schools of Arts and Sciences
St. Mary's City
United States
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Grein, K A; Glidden, L M (2015) Predicting well-being longitudinally for mothers rearing offspring with intellectual and developmental disabilities. J Intellect Disabil Res 59:622-37
Glidden, Laraine Masters; Grein, Katherine Anne; Ludwig, Jesse Andrew (2014) The Down syndrome advantage: it depends on what and when you measure. Am J Intellect Dev Disabil 119:389-404
Glidden, Laraine M; Jobe, Brian M (2007) Measuring parental daily rewards and worries in the transition to adulthood. Am J Ment Retard 112:275-88
Glidden, L M; Johnson, V E (1999) Twelve years later: adjustment in families who adopted children with developmental disabilities. Ment Retard 37:16-24
Helff, C M; Glidden, L M (1998) More positive or less negative? Trends in research on adjustment of families rearing children with developmental disabilities. Ment Retard 36:457-64
Glidden, L M; Floyd, F J (1997) Disaggregating parental depression and family stress in assessing families of children with developmental disabilities: a multisample analysis. Am J Ment Retard 102:250-66
Willoughby, J C; Glidden, L M (1995) Fathers helping out: shared child care and marital satisfaction of parents of children with disabilities. Am J Ment Retard 99:399-406
Glidden, L M (1989) Parents for children, children for parents. The adoption alternative. Monogr Am Assoc Ment Retard :i-xii, 1-209
Glidden, L M; Pursley, J T (1989) Longitudinal comparisons of families who have adopted children with mental retardation. Am J Ment Retard 94:272-7