Factors associated with relationship dissolution and post-dissolution adjustment among lesbian adoptive couples

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6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Same-sex adoptive couples are increasingly visible, yet few studies have addressed relationship stability and dissolution among these couples. In this study, using a theoretical framework based on Investment Models and Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation Theory, factors associated with dissolution and post-dissolution adjustment among 27 lesbian adoptive couples were examined across two points. At Wave 1, all 27 couples were together; children were on average 3 years old. Results revealed that nearly one third broke up over 5 years (between Waves 1 and 2). Factors related to shorter relationship length and undermining coparenting at Wave 1 distinguished women who later broke up versus stayed together. Worse mental health at Wave 2 characterized women in dissolved rather than sustained relationships, even with comparable individual adjustment at Wave 1. Weaker parenting alliance and greater dissatisfaction with childcare divisions were reported by women no longer with their partners at Wave 2 as compared with those in enduring partnerships. This research has implications for understanding lesbian relationship dynamics and associations with individual adjustment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-105
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Lesbian Studies
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

Keywords

  • adoptive couples
  • coparenting
  • Lesbian women
  • mental health
  • relationship dissolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies

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