Understanding Diverse Family Structures

TCRM Paper Session 1

Jordan A. Arellanes, Ross Parke, Clinton Gudmunson, Bethany Willis Hepp, Katie Hrapczynski, Cheryl Fortner-Wood; Discussants: Rob Palkovitz and Kari Adamsons; Presider: Fiona Mercer

9:30 AM
11:15 AM
Session #
005
Session Type
TCRM

About the Session

  • 005-01 - A Theoretical Reconceptualization of Gatekeeping Practices Within a Family Unit
    By Jordan A. Arellanes, Ross Parke, Clinton Gudmunson
  • 005-02 - Symbolic Interactionism: Advancing Adoption Theory, Research, and Practice
    By Bethany Willis Hepp, Katie Hrapczynski, Cheryl Fortner-Wood;
    Discussants: Rob Palkovitz and Kari Adamsons
    Presider: Fiona Mercer

Abstract(s)

A Theoretical Reconceptualization of Gatekeeping Practices Within a Family Unit

By Jordan A. Arellanes, Ross Parke, Clinton Gudmunson

The current theoretical reconceptualization of gatekeeping advances three key arguments. First, an important shift away from the terminology of “maternal gatekeeping,” an outdated term, is reframed to emphasize the bidirectional influence of both parents on gatekeeping practices. Second, a model of contextual, extra-dyadic mechanisms that impact parent’s ability to enable or limit partner interactions with the child is presented. Third, an exploration into diverse family structures and societal influences of gatekeeping are needed to direct future policy change. These arguments are integrated into a theoretical model highlighting the complex ways that gatekeeping practices are enacted and controlled in U.S. society.

Symbolic Interactionism: Advancing Adoption Theory, Research, and Practice

By Bethany Willis Hepp, Katie Hrapczynski, Cheryl Fortner-Wood; Discussants: Rob Palkovitz and Kari Adamsons

This paper focuses on Symbolic Interactionism (SI) and its application to adoption-related family issues. First, we argue that a dearth of explicit application of SI in research has resulted in gaps in the interpretation of adoptive family dynamics sufficient to abate the impact of its use in practice. Theoretical concepts of I, me, and generalized other are underutilized and can be particularly relevant to adoption work. Second, we advocate for extension of salience, a term often used in conjunction with role development, to generalized other in an effort to better understand and support adoptive parent perspectives of and experiences with adoption.