Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Bonnie Nicholson

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Melanie Leuty

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Emily Yowell

Committee Member 3 Department



Adoptive parents are at risk for experiencing a high level of parenting stress (McGlone, Santos, Kazama, Fong, & Mueller, 2002) throughout the duration of the adoption experience. Adoptee background factors have been found to contribute to increased levels of parenting stress and distress in adoptive parents (Brooks, Simmel, Wind, & Barth, 2005; McDonald, Lieberman, Partridge, & Homby, 1991; McGlone et al., 2002). Increased parenting stress has been associated with negative outcomes for both parent and child (Ang, 2008; Deater-Deckard, Smith, & Ivy 2005; Morgan, Robinsion, & Aldridge, 2002). Hardiness, family hardiness and parental self-efficacy are protective factors that have all been found to be negatively associated with distress (Beasley, Thompson, & Davidson, 2002; Sevigny & Loutzenhiser, 2009; Svavarsdottir & Rayens, 2005) but have not been studied in a population of adoptive parents. Given the unique challenges of parenting an adopted child, the current study evaluated the relationship between hardiness, family hardiness, parenting self-efficacy, and parenting stress in a sample of adoptive parents. Results demonstrated that hardiness, family hardiness, and parenting self-efficacy predicted parenting stress in adoptive parents. Both hardiness and parenting self-efficacy emerged as unique predictors of parenting stress whereas family hardiness did not. 1bis was the first study to demonstrate that hardiness, family hardiness, and parenting self-efficacy buffer against the negative effects of parenting stress for adoptive parents.

Included in

Psychology Commons