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Adoptive parents’ finances and employment status: a 5-year longitudinal study european child & adolescent psychiatry

Paine, Amy L. ORCID:, Fahey, Kevin, Thompson, Rebecca and Shelton, Katherine H. ORCID: 2023. Adoptive parents’ finances and employment status: a 5-year longitudinal study european child & adolescent psychiatry. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 32 , pp. 1305-1316. 10.1007/s00787-022-01946-3

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We investigated risk and facilitating factors related to families’ change in finances and employment over 5 years following adoption of a child from local authority care in a prospective, longitudinal study of children placed for adoption between 2014 and 2015 (N = 96). Parents completed questionnaires at approximately 5, 21, 36, 48 and 60 months post-placement. We used time series analysis to examine the impact of child (e.g. pre-placement experiences, mental health), family structure (e.g. number of siblings, parent relationship status), and parent (e.g. mental health) factors on change in household income and parent employment status after adoption. We also examined the tendency for parents to comment on employment and finances and the emotional valence of their comments to gauge their concern about their circumstances. Children’s mental health problems were associated with primary caregivers reducing their time spent in employment and parents’ tendency to comment on their financial and work circumstances. Children who experienced more moves in care were more likely to have a primary caregiver not in full-time work, as were children with higher prosocial behaviour scores. Being in full-time work was associated with parents’ symptoms of anxiety. We also detected associations between structural features of the family and changes in income and employment. This study represents one of the first empirical investigations of factors associated with the socioeconomic features of adoptive families’ lives and informs ongoing discussion regarding the support needs of families and the timing, nature, and delivery of post-adoption professional services.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1018-8827
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 January 2022
Date of Acceptance: 2 January 2022
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2023 03:35

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