The proposed research aims to continue studying the adjustment of families rearing children with developmental disabilities (DD) prospectively, thus contributing to the understanding of what parent and family characteristics at an earlier time lead to better or poorer adjustment at a later time. This comparison is done with a unique sample of families who have knowingly adopted children with DD, as well as with the more typical families who have birth children with DD. The continuing investigation has two primary and interrelated goals. First, it will extend the prospective measurement to a critical, but understudied period: Transition to adulthood. Because this period is likely to be one of increased demands and strains, it is especially important to ascertain those parental and child characteristics, as well as family context, that influence the degree to which specific family members adjust well or poorly. Hypotheses to be tested with regard to this time period relate to parental personality and religiousness, child maladaptive behavior and independence of functioning, and the role of adoptive or birth status in adjustment. The second goal involves the extension of family measurement from self- and other-reports to behavioral observations. The intent is to anchor the current findings with regard to neuroticism, or mental stability, to the way parents interact with each other and their children with DD. In sum, this research has important mental health consequences for identifying families at risk for later dysfunction, thus enabling the implementation of 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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Study Section
Human Development and Aging Subcommittee 3 (HUD)
Program Officer
Hanson, James W
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St. Mary's College of Maryland
Other Health Professions
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