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Mallinger, Gayle M (2010) PLACING CHILDREN IN NEED WITH GAY AND LESBIAN COUPLES:INFLUENCES ON PLACEMENT DECISIONS. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Thousands of children throughout the United States are currently awaiting placement withadoptive families. The literature indicates that gay- and lesbian-headed households can wellmeet the needs of these children. Research suggests that sexual prejudice, religiousfundamentalism and attitudes about gay and lesbian adoption may influence practice decisionsregarding placement. This dissertation study examined the influences of religiousfundamentalism, sexual prejudice, contact with sexually diverse individuals, and attitudestowards gay men and lesbians as adoptive parents on intent to place children in need with gayand lesbian couples. A random sample of National Association of Social Workers (NASW)members was surveyed; 1000 surveys were distributed and 303 usable surveys were returned.Religious fundamentalism was measured using the Revised Religious Fundamentalism Scale(Altemeyer & Huntsberger, 2004), sexual prejudice was measured using the Attitudes towardGay Men and Lesbians (Herek, 1994) and attitudes towards gay and lesbians as adoptive parentswas measured using Attitudes toward Gay Men and Lesbians as Adoptive Parents scale (Ryan,2000). To assess willingness to use gay or lesbian couples as adoptive parents, respondents wereasked to rank first and second choices on ten scenarios; two scenarios reflected easy to placechildren and eight hard to place children. A sizable minority of respondents failed to respond tothe scenarios. Those opting out tended to score lower on religious fundamentalism, sexualprejudice, and held more positive attitudes towards gay and lesbian adoption.Further, some respondents never included gay or lesbian couples; these respondentstended to score higher on religious fundamentalism, sexual prejudice, and negative attitudes togays and lesbian couples as adoptive parents than those choosing at least one gay/lesbianresponse. Religious fundamentalism predicted sexual prejudice, which predicted negativeattitudes towards gays and lesbians as adoptive parents. Religious fundamentalism also directlyinfluenced attitudes towards gay and lesbians as adoptive parents. In addition, personal contactwith sexually diverse individuals partially influenced sexual prejudice. Overall, the resultsindicate that some professionals are inappropriately influenced by their personal values.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mallinger, Gayle Mgmm6@pitt.eduGMM6
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee Chair Engel, Rafaelrengel@pitt.eduRENGEL
Committee MemberRosen, Danieldar15@pitt.eduDAR15
Committee MemberKoeske, Garygkoeske@pitt.eduGKOESKE
Committee MemberKim, Kevinkhkim@pitt.eduKHKIM
Date: 31 August 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 27 August 2010
Approval Date: 31 August 2010
Submission Date: 30 August 2010
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Social Work > Social Work
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gay; Lesbian; Social Work
Other ID:, etd-08302010-192722
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:01
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:49


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