Identity-based socialization and adopted children’s outcomes in lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parent families

Kyle A. Simon, Rachel H. Farr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We investigated associations among three parent socialization practices (racial/cultural socialization, adoptive communicative openness, LGBT family socialization) and related child outcomes (social competence, understanding of adoption) among 96 lesbian, gay, and heterosexual adoptive parent families with school-age children (Mage = 8 years). No socialization practices differed as functions of child sex or parental sexual orientation. Parents in transracial (versus same-race) adoptive families reported higher racial/cultural socialization and lower adoptive communicative openness. Higher racial/cultural socialization was associated with higher LGBT family socialization; the latter was also associated with higher adoptive communicative openness. Although no parent-reported socialization practices were associated with children’s understanding of adoption, child-reported LGBT family socialization was correlated with greater understanding. Moreover, when simultaneously considering parent-reported socialization, higher child-reported LGBT family socialization statistically predicted greater social competence. These findings provide insights about how socialization practices relate to one another and to preadolescent child outcomes among adoptive families representing diverse identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-175
Number of pages21
JournalApplied Developmental Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by funding from the American Psychological Associations Wayne F. Placek Grant awarded to Dr. Rachel H. Farr. The second author was also supported by funds from the Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. We are appreciative to all of the adoptive families who were willing to share their stories and made this research possible. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Society for Research on Child Development biennial meeting and the National Council on Family Relations annual conference.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Child social competence
  • Lesbian and gay parents
  • Socialization practices
  • Transracial adoption
  • Understanding of adoption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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