Publications by authors named "Fiona Tasker"

34 Publications

Different Placement Practices for Different Families? Children's Adjustment in LGH Adoptive Families.

Front Psychol 2021 18;12:649853. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

University Institute of Psychological, Social and Life Sciences (ISPA), Lisbon, Portugal.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics of children placed with lesbian, gay, and heterosexual adopters, and to examine children's problem behaviors and positive psychosocial adjustment across the three family types.

Background: There is evidence that children with hard-to-place profiles may be more likely to be matched with lesbian and gay parents. In addition, children adopted from care face greater developmental difficulties than children raised by their birth families, although adoptive parents may buffer the negative effects of early adversity on their children's psychosocial adjustment.

Method: A final sample of 149 adoptive families from across the United Kingdom was recruited: 71 heterosexual parented, 39 lesbian parented, and 39 gay parented.

Results: The results showed that gay and lesbian parents were more likely than heterosexual parents to be matched with hard-to-place children, partially because they were more open to being matched with children with hard-to-place profiles. However, no differences among the three family types on children's psychosocial adjustment were found, when controlling for children's early adversity.

Conclusion: Adopted children displayed similar levels of problem behaviors and positive adjustment in lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parented families. Early adversity and having a physical problem/disability accounted for much of the variance in problem behaviors whereas parenting did not. In contrast, it was suggested that parenting processes, namely, parental closeness, may help to explain children's positive adjustment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.649853DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8253556PMC
June 2021

Deciding to parent or remain childfree: Comparing sexual minority and heterosexual childless adults from Israel, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.

J Fam Psychol 2021 Sep 11;35(6):844-850. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences.

This study compared Israeli, Portuguese, and British childless lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) and heterosexual adults on parenthood aspirations as indicated by their desire and intent to become a parent and their concern about childlessness. For this purpose, 168 childless adults (57 self-reported as LGB) in Portugal were matched on sociodemographic variables with 168 participants from the United Kingdom and 168 participants from Israel, resulting in a sample of = 504 ( = 28.26, = 6.17). Participants were recruited through convenience sampling and completed online questionnaires assessing parenthood desire, intent, and concern about childlessness. Results indicated that participants from Israel and Portugal reported higher levels of parenthood desire, intent, and concern about childlessness than participants from the United Kingdom. Parallel patterns also appeared separately for LGB and heterosexual participants between the countries. Heterosexual participants from Israel scored higher than counterparts from Portugal on parenthood intention and concern about childlessness. In addition, LGB participants in general reported lower levels of parenthood desire, intentions, and concern about childlessness than did heterosexual participants. The findings are interpreted in light of the different sociocultural contexts of the countries, that is, the individualistic values characterizing the U.K. versus the familistic values characterizing the Israeli and Portuguese contexts, alongside a strongly pronatalist stance evident in Israel and economic context in Portugal. The study contributes to the scant comparative literature on parenthood aspirations among LGB individuals as a function of cultural context by providing a multicontextual viewpoint on parenthood aspirations, sexual orientation, and diverse sociocultural contexts. Implications for clinicians are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/fam0000843DOI Listing
September 2021

Editorial: LGBTQ Parents and Their Children During the Family Life Cycle.

Front Psychol 2021 18;12:643647. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Psychological Sciences, School of Science, Birkbeck University of London, London, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.643647DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7930207PMC
February 2021

Psychosocial Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Mental Health among LGBTQ+ Young Adults: A Cross-Cultural Comparison across Six Nations.

J Homosex 2021 Mar 22;68(4):612-630. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, University of Coimbra , Coimbra, Portugal.

Across the world, people have seen their lives interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Using an online survey, we explored how the psychosocial effects of the pandemic affected the mental health of LGBTQ+ young adults who were confined with their parents during the lockdown period ( = 1,934), from six countries: Portugal, UK, Italy, Brazil, Chile, and Sweden. South American participants experienced more negative psychosocial effects of the pandemic. Depression and anxiety were higher among participants who were younger, not working, living in Europe and who reported feeling more emotionally affected by the pandemic, uncomfortable at home, or isolated from non-LGBTQ friends. Not attending higher education predicted depression while not being totally confined at home, residing habitually with parents, and fearing more future infection predicted anxiety. LGBTQ+ community groups, as well as health and educational services should remain particularly attentive to the needs of LGBTQ+ young adults during health crises.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2020.1868186DOI Listing
March 2021

Familismo, Lesbophobia, and Religious Beliefs in the Life Course Narratives of Chilean Lesbian Mothers.

Front Psychol 2020 20;11:516471. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London, London, United Kingdom.

This study aimed to explore the life course identity projects of Chilean lesbian mothers who conceived their children within the context of a previous heterosexual relationship. By exploring the case of Chile, this study examined the family lives of lesbian mothers within the context of a Latino heteronormative society with a Christian (mainly Catholic) heritage. Individual interviews were conducted with eight participants aged between 27 and 40 years old (mean age of 33 years) who were recruited through snowballing and social media. A Structural Narrative Analysis of participants' stories was conducted within a Life Course Perspective theoretical framework. The study found that participants initially followed a heterosexual path to conform to their family of origin and social expectations. After building their own heterosexual family projects and having their children with a man, most participants felt pressured to continue within a heterosexual path and postponed their transition to a lesbian identity trajectory despite a growing feeling that a lesbian identity would be personally fullfilling. Although participants felt proud of their identities, they struggled to express their same-gender feelings because lesbians were often seen as inappropriate models for children within Chilean society. Crucially, lesbian mothers continued to be able to count upon support for their parenting from their own mother despite intense disapproval from their family of origin and often continued opposition from ex-husbands/partners. The findings of this study revealed the strong impact of familismo, lesbophobia and Christian religious beliefs on the life course experiences of Chilean lesbian mothers. Implications for therapy and counselling with lesbian mothers living in Latino countries are reviewed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.516471DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7607001PMC
October 2020

Adoptive Gay Father Families: A Longitudinal Study of Children's Adjustment at Early Adolescence.

Child Dev 2021 01 3;92(1):425-443. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

University of Cambridge.

Findings are presented from the second phase of a UK longitudinal study of 33 gay father, 35 lesbian mother, and 43 heterosexual parent families when their adopted children reached early adolescence. Participants predominantly lived in urban/suburban areas and were mostly white and well-educated. Standardized interviews, observations, and questionnaires of parental mental health, parent-child relationships, and adolescent adjustment were administered to parents, children, and teachers between 2016 and 2018. There were few differences between family types. However, adjustment problems had increased in all family types, with better parenting quality and parental mental health associated with fewer adjustment problems. The findings contribute to adoption policy and practice, and to theoretical understanding of the role of parental gender in child development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13442DOI Listing
January 2021

Anticipating Parenthood Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Young Adults Without Children in Portugal: Predictors and Profiles.

Front Psychol 2020 10;11:1058. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London, London, United Kingdom.

Parenthood is a highly valued life goal, independent of one's sexual orientation. However, the majority of studies exploring young adults' parenthood plans have relied exclusively on samples of heterosexual individuals. This study aimed (i) to explore differences in parenthood intentions as a function of sexual orientation, (ii) to investigate to what extent sociodemographic and psychological characteristics predict parenthood intentions of lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB), and heterosexual individuals, (iii) to test the mediating effect of stigma between sexual orientation and parenthood intentions, and (iv) to identify and characterize profiles of prospective parenthood (through cluster analysis). Data were gathered using an online survey from 375 self-identified LGB and heterosexual young adults without children in Portugal, with a mean age of 25.83 years old ( = 4.49). Findings indicated that LGB individuals were less likely to intend to have children than heterosexual individuals; furthermore, among LGB individuals, lesbian women expressed stronger intentions to have children than did gay men. Similarities between heterosexual and LGB young adults were observed concerning the psychological determinants of parenthood intentions. Four distinctive profiles of prospective parenthood were identified: aspiring parents not anticipating stigma, aspiring parents anticipating stigma, childfree intent, and childfree ambivalent. Lesbian and bisexual women mostly populated the childfree ambivalent cluster; in contrast, the aspiring parents anticipating stigma cluster contained an overrepresentation of men, including sexual minority men. Professionals may want to attend to communalities and specificities of prospective parenthood as a function of sexual orientation, in order to provide unbiased and culturally competent support to sexual minority individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7298073PMC
June 2020

Gender Identity and Future Thinking About Parenthood: A Qualitative Analysis of Focus Group Data With Transgender and Non-binary People in the United Kingdom.

Front Psychol 2020 6;11:865. Epub 2020 May 6.

Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

The idea that people who are transgender or non-binary are not interested in becoming parents has been refuted by several studies. However, both medical unknowns and cisnormativity surround the process of becoming a parent for transgender or non-binary people, with little known about the psychosocial impact on the family formation dilemmas of transgender and non-binary adults. Employing Life Course Theory as our theoretical framework, three focus group interviews were conducted with eleven transgender or non-binary adults. Qualitative data analysis of focus group interview transcripts was conducted through Thematic Analysis. Four overarching interlinked themes were identified concerning the dilemmas perceived by the nine participants who contemplated future parenthood: (i) Balancing a desire for parenthood and desires for other life goals; (ii) Feeling that who I am doesn't fit into the cisgender system of accessing fostering, adoption or fertility services; (iii) Experiencing the conjoined challenges of gender and fertility embodiment as I see them; (iv) Searching for a non-binary or gender appropriate self and the need for flexible future planning centered on reproductive capacity. Overall, thoughts about gender transition were often interwoven with parenthood plans and in a dialectical fashion the desire and intention to have, or not have, children was implicated in satisfaction with gender transition. The significance of these themes is discussed in relation to how hopes for parenthood could be realized without jeopardizing gender identity and the need for a future focused, flexible, and open-minded approach on the part of fertility and adoption services.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00865DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7218755PMC
May 2020

Pathways to Fatherhood: Psychological Well-Being Among Israeli Gay Fathers Through Surrogacy, Gay Fathers Through Previous Heterosexual Relationships, and Heterosexual Fathers.

Front Psychol 2020 29;11:91. Epub 2020 Jan 29.

William James Center for Research, ISPA - Instituto Universitário, Lisbon, Portugal.

This study explored differences in psychological well-being as assessed by life satisfaction, parenthood satisfaction, depressive symptoms and the Big Five personality dimensions among 219 Israeli fathers; 76 gay men who had become fathers through a heterosexual relationship, 63 gay men who had become fathers through surrogacy, and 78 heterosexual men. After controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, gay fathers through surrogacy reported greater satisfaction with parenthood, greater satisfaction with their lives, and reported higher levels of extraversion when compared to heterosexual fathers. No significant differences emerged between the three groups on depressive symptoms, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness to experience. These findings emphasize the predominant similarities and some possible differences on psychological well-being between the different paths to fatherhood. This study is one of the first to compare several paths to fatherhood on psychological well-being, thus illuminating the contribution of fatherhood route to psychological well-being in an era where gay men are increasingly becoming fathers in diverse ways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00091DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7000545PMC
January 2020

Psychometric properties of the parent's versions of the SDQ and the PANAS-X in a community sample of Portuguese parents.

Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry 2020 Apr 3;25(2):520-532. Epub 2019 Dec 3.

William James Center for Research, ISPA-Instituto Universitário, Portugal.

This study examined the psychometric properties of the parent's versions of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule-Extended Form (PANAS-X) in a community sample of Portuguese parents. A total of 1100 SDQ and PANAS-X were collected from an online sample of 761 parents, whose ages ranged from 23 to 65 years ( = 42,  = 5). Confirmatory factor analyses provided evidence of the internal factor structure of both the SDQ and the PANAS-X and invariance of the factor structure across age and gender groups, with the exception of the SDQ, which failed to provide evidence of invariance between genders. Internal reliability and discriminant validity were confirmed for both measures, although convergent validity was only confirmed for the PANAS-X. Concurrent validity was also confirmed by comparing the results from the SDQ dimensions and the PANAS-X broad dimensions subscales.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1359104519891759DOI Listing
April 2020

Exploring Lesbian and Bisexual Catholic Women's Narratives of Religious and Sexual Identity Formation and Integration.

J Homosex 2021 Jan 12;68(1):47-69. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck University of London , Bloomsbury, London, UK.

Many LGBT people with a Christian upbringing experience conflict between their religious and sexual identities. Many resolve this conflict by leaving Christianity, others by moving to affirming churches. Some research has examined the experiences of LGBT people who choose to attend conservative churches; however, there has been very little research on the experiences of non-heterosexual women in the Catholic Church. Narrative and thematic analyses of data collected through qualitative interviews with six non-heterosexual Catholic women revealed several ways participants had integrated their faith and sexuality: acceptance from other Catholics, distinguishing between the Church and God, meeting other LGBT Christians, and developing a personal relationship with God. These reflect strategies adopted by gay Catholic men and LGBT Christians attending Protestant churches. Nonetheless, participants reported that their experiences varied from those of gay Catholic men due to gay men being more visible and more subject to prejudice within the Church.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2019.1624455DOI Listing
January 2021

Parenting desires, parenting intentions, and anticipation of stigma upon parenthood among lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual women in Portugal.

J Lesbian Stud 2019 7;23(4):451-463. Epub 2019 Jun 7.

b Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck University of London , London , UK.

We explored parenting desires, parenting intentions, and anticipation of stigma upon parenthood in a sample of 257 self-identified lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual childfree women in Portugal. No differences between the groups were observed concerning parenting desires. However, lesbian and bisexual women reported lower intentions to have children than their heterosexual counterparts. Although lesbian women considered themselves to have a higher chance of being victims of social stigma as mothers, this was not associated with their parenting desires. Furthermore, younger lesbian women intended to have children to a greater extent than did older lesbian women; relational status did not relate to lesbian women's parenting intentions, desires, or anticipation of stigma. Overall, this study contributes to knowledge about family formation processes among Portuguese women diverse in sexual identity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10894160.2019.1621733DOI Listing
February 2020

Reactions from family of origin to the disclosure of lesbian motherhood via donor insemination.

J Lesbian Stud 2020 27;24(1):1-11. Epub 2019 May 27.

William James Center for Research, ISPA-Instituto Universitário, Lisbon, Portugal.

Most studies of planned lesbian motherhood via donor insemination (DI) have sampled lesbian mothers in individualistic societies where adults have relatively distant connection to their family of origin. Our study examined the experiences of biological and non-biological lesbian mothers in five families who had children through DI after disclosing their motherhood status to their family networks in Portugal, a familistic society. The first theme identified by thematic analysis-"But why do you want to have a child?"-encapsulated the reactions of biological mothers' family of origin to the announcement of motherhood. Disclosure was mostly met by a shocked response in the family, rooted in the belief that lesbian women should not have children. The second theme-"But you weren't pregnant, how is this your child?"-summarized the reactions of non-biological mothers' family of origin to the disclosure of motherhood status as they considered refusing to recognize their grandchild in the absence of biological connection. Prejudice against lesbian-mother family formation was associated with the specific intersection of lesbianism and motherhood, but relationships between the mothers and their families were largely repaired because of familistic values.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10894160.2019.1614378DOI Listing
February 2020

Father-child attachment in adoptive gay father families.

Attach Hum Dev 2020 02 21;22(1):110-123. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge, UK.

The attachment security of children in 30 gay father families, 29 lesbian mother families and 38 heterosexual parent families was investigated using the Friends and Family Interview (FFI) at the second phase of a longitudinal study. Children in gay father families showed significantly higher levels of secure-autonomous attachment than children in heterosexual parent families, significantly lower levels of preoccupied attachment than children in either lesbian mother or heterosexual parent families, and significantly lower levels of disorganised attachment than children in heterosexual parent families. For children in gay father families, stepwise multiple regression revealed that neither hyperactivity nor emotional symptoms at Phase 1 were predictive of disorganisation at Phase 2. However, when entered alone, Phase 1 emotional symptoms predicted Phase 2 disorganisation. The results indicate that adopted children in gay father families are at least as likely to be securely attached as children in lesbian mother or heterosexual parent families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2019.1589067DOI Listing
February 2020

Prospective parenting: sexual identity and intercultural trajectories.

Cult Health Sex 2019 07 24;21(7):757-773. Epub 2018 Oct 24.

c Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck , University of London , London , UK.

This study explored the impact of sexual identity on attitudes towards parenthood among childless individuals from Portugal and the United Kingdom (UK). Compared to heterosexuals, lesbians, gay men and bisexuals were less likely to: desire and intend to have children, be concerned about the prospect of childlessness or perceive children as a source of enrichment. They also anticipated more stigma as parents than did heterosexuals. Compared to UK participants, all Portuguese participants, independent of sexual identity, desired and intended more to have children, were more concerned about childlessness, reported higher levels of parental commitment, anticipated less stigma and expected more social support as parents. Portuguese lesbian, gay and bisexual participants expressed greater desire to have children than did those in the UK. Only in the UK did lesbian, gay and bisexual participants perceive children less as a source of enrichment than did heterosexuals and anticipate negative costs associated with parenting. We concluded that the intersectional influence of different cultural climates on parenting aspirations should be taken into account in future research alongside sexual identity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2018.1515987DOI Listing
July 2019

Gay men's chemsex survival stories.

Sex Health 2018 04;15(2):116-122

Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX, UK.

Background Chemsex (the combined use of drugs and sexual experiences) by men who have sex with men is associated with the transmission of sexually transmissible infections and blood-borne viruses, but psychosocial factors associated with chemsex engagement and remission remain unidentified. In the present study we considered how do gay men self-identify a chemsex problem and remain chemsex free?

Methods: Using a life course perspective, the present qualitative interview study examined participants' reflections to discern pathways in and out of chemsex engagement. Six participants (aged ≥18 years) were drawn from a cohort of men who had completed the tailored therapeutic Structured Weekend Antidote Program. Transcripts were analysed using a Labovian narrative analysis framework.

Results: Each man identified a multiplicity of incidents and feelings that contributed to their engagement in chemsex, and engagement in chemsex was connected to participants' identity development and desire to belong to a gay community. Underlying individual accounts, a common narrative suggested a process through which chemsex journeys were perceived as spiralling from exciting and self-exploratory incidents into an out-of-control, high-risk activity that was isolating and prompted engagement with therapy. Despite seeking therapeutic engagement, participants expressed uncertainty about maintaining a gay future without chemsex.

Conclusions: Chemsex was associated with a positive gay identity gain, which explained the ambivalence participants expressed in maintaining a gay future without chemsex despite their awareness of negative consequences. This is significant for understanding both why chemsex pathways may prove attractive and why they may be so difficult to leave.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH17122DOI Listing
April 2018

Are the Fathers Alright? A Systematic and Critical Review of Studies on Gay and Bisexual Fatherhood.

Front Psychol 2017 21;8:1636. Epub 2017 Sep 21.

William James Center for Research, Instituto Universitário de Ciências Psicológicas, Sociais e da VidaLisbon, Portugal.

The purpose of the present systematic and critical review was to assess the findings and to identify the gaps in the literature concerning gay and bisexual fathers. A comprehensive search of relevant literature using electronic databases and reference lists for articles published until December 2016 was conducted. A total of 63 studies, spanning from 1979 to 2016, were collected. More than half of the studies were published after 2011 and the overwhelming majority were conducted in the United States. Nine themes were identified in the studies reviewed: (1) Pathways to fatherhood; (2) Motivations for fatherhood; (3) Parenting experiences and childrearing; (4) Family life and relationship quality; (5) Gender and father identities and gender-role orientation; (6) Disclosure of sexual identity; (7) Social climate; (8) Father's psychosocial adjustment; and (9) Children's psychosocial adjustment. It was found that research on gay fatherhood appears to be more heterogeneous than on lesbian motherhood, perhaps because of the variety of pathways to parenthood (via co-parenting, adoption, fostering, or surrogacy). Two-father families are becoming more visible in research on sexual minority parenting and gradually transforming the conceptualization of parenting in family research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01636DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5613122PMC
September 2017

The transition into adoptive parenthood: Adoption as a process of continued unsafe uncertainty when family scripts collide.

Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry 2016 Oct 29;21(4):520-535. Epub 2016 Mar 29.

Children's Social Care, Cambridgeshire County Council, UK.

Our prospective study investigated couples' expectations of adoptive parenthood and explored how these changed with their actual experience of parenthood. Six heterosexual couples were interviewed just before placement began and 6 months after the children had arrived. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyse both sets of interview data. Expectations of adoptive parenthood mostly transformed smoothly into adoption experience for couples, but challenges were experienced when family scripts collided and a continued feeling of unsafe uncertainty then prevailed within these newly formed family systems. Family script collision seemed a particular problem for couples adopting sibling pairs. To further professional practice in working with families over the transition to adoptive parenting, we suggest that professionals keep in mind a framework that includes the following: Internal and external world influences on family members, Intergenerational issues, Family scripts and the Structural challenges of adoption (IIFS).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1359104516638911DOI Listing
October 2016

Genetic and environmental components of female depression as a function of the severity of the disorder.

Brain Behav 2016 Oct 12;6(10):e00519. Epub 2016 Aug 12.

Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology King's College London London UK.

Background: Both clinical care and genome-wide studies need to account for levels of severity in the etiology of depression. The purpose of the study is to estimate the genetic and environmental components of female depression as a function of the severity of the disorder.

Methods: A genetic and environmental model analysis of depression incidence was made using the IOP Depression Severity Measure (IDSM). Details of lifetime depression incidence were obtained by questionnaire from twins on the DTR registry. Data from 1449 matched female twin pairs in the age range 19-85 years in four ordinal categories of increasing severity were employed in the analysis.

Results: Estimates of additive and dominance genetic components of 27% and 25% were found when all three levels of depression were included, and near zero and 33% when the recurrent/severe level was excluded. Shared environmental effects were not significant in either case, but the estimate for random environmental effects was greater when the severe level was excluded.

Conclusions: These results suggest that the incidence of severe depression is associated with homozygotic alleles and the less severe with heterozygotic alleles. This is in accord with the finding that the hereditary component of severe depression is relatively high and that milder forms are more dependent on life-time environmental factors. Such conclusions have clinical implications for the diagnosis and treatment of the disorder by practicing psychiatrists. They also lead to the importance of focusing future genome-wide and linkage studies on those females with severe levels of depression if progress in identifying genetic risk loci is to be made.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.519DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5064332PMC
October 2016

Theory in Highly Cited Studies of Sexual Minority Parent Families: Variations and Implications.

J Homosex 2017 27;64(9):1143-1179. Epub 2016 Sep 27.

c Department of Psychology , Clark University , Worcester , Massachusetts , USA.

This article includes a systematic review and citation analysis of the literature regarding sexual minority parent families, particularly attending to what theories have been used, and how. We consider the importance of theoretical frameworks for future research and implications for policy, practice, and law related to sexual minority parent families. Our review targets 30 highly cited studies located through Google Scholar (as an interdisciplinary search engine) and published within a specific timeframe (2005-2010). We highlight the dominant theoretical models employed across disciplines studying sexual minority parent families. Although the majority of studies reviewed referred to theoretical models or perspectives, explicit theoretical grounding was frequently lacking. Instead, the empirical work reviewed appeared to have a predominantly applied focus in addressing public debates on sexual minority parent families. We provide recommendations for how theory might be more fully integrated into the social science literature on sexual minority parents and their children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2016.1242336DOI Listing
June 2017

Improving core medical training--innovative and feasible ideas to better training.

Clin Med (Lond) 2014 Dec;14(6):612-7

Joint Royal College of Physicians Training Board, London, UK.

A recent survey of UK core medical training (CMT) training conducted jointly by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and Joint Royal College of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB) identified that trainees perceived major problems with their training. Service work dominated and compromised training opportunities, and of great concern, almost half the respondents felt that they had not been adequately prepared to take on the role of medical registrar. Importantly, the survey not only gathered CMT trainees' views of their current training, it also asked them for their 'innovative and feasible ways to improve CMT'. This article draws together some of these excellent ideas on how the quality of training and the experience of trainees could be improved. It presents a vision for how CMT trainees, consultant supervisors, training programme directors, clinical directors and managers can work together to implement relevant, feasible and affordable ways to improve training for doctors and deliver the best possible care for patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7861/clinmedicine.14-6-612DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4954133PMC
December 2014

Survey of core medical trainees in the United Kingdom 2013 - inconsistencies in training experience and competing with service demands.

Clin Med (Lond) 2014 Apr;14(2):149-56

Royal College of Physicians, London, UK.

There is currently considerable concern about the attractiveness of hospital medicine as a career and experiences in core medical training (CMT) are a key determinant of whether trainees continue in the medical specialties. Little is understood about the quality and impact of the current CMT programme and this survey was designed to assess this. Three key themes emerged. Firstly, the demands of providing service have led to considerable loss of training opportunities, particularly in outpatients and formal teaching sessions. Trainees spend a lot of this service time doing menial tasks and over 90% report that service takes up 80-100% of their time. Secondly, clinical and educational supervision is variable, with trainees sometimes getting little consultant feedback on their clinical performance. Finally, 44% of trainees report that CMT has not prepared them to be a medical registrar and many trainees are put off acute medical specialties by their experiences in CMT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7861/clinmedicine.14-2-149DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4953286PMC
April 2014

Commentary: (how) does the experience of parental divorce in childhood contextualize adult development? Reflections on Fergusson et al. (2014).

Authors:
Fiona Tasker

J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2014 Apr 14;55(4):361-2. Epub 2014 Mar 14.

Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck University of London, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12231DOI Listing
April 2014

Adoptive gay father families: parent-child relationships and children's psychological adjustment.

Child Dev 2014 Mar-Apr;85(2):456-68. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

University of Cambridge.

Findings are presented on a U.K. study of 41 gay father families, 40 lesbian mother families, and 49 heterosexual parent families with an adopted child aged 3-9 years. Standardized interview and observational and questionnaire measures of parental well-being, quality of parent-child relationships, child adjustment, and child sex-typed behavior were administered to parents, children, and teachers. The findings indicated more positive parental well-being and parenting in gay father families compared to heterosexual parent families. Child externalizing problems were greater among children in heterosexual families. Family process variables, particularly parenting stress, rather than family type were found to be predictive of child externalizing problems. The findings contribute to theoretical understanding of the role of parental gender and parental sexual orientation in child development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4510787PMC
December 2014

Conceptualizing the therapist's role in therapy in psychosis.

Psychol Psychother 2013 Sep 29;86(3):315-33. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Objectives: This paper reports on a subset of findings from a wider ranging grounded theory analysis of therapy and recovery processes in psychosis. It describes therapist activities involved in maintaining an observational perspective during therapy and the links between these and other therapist activities.

Design: Grounded theory was used to examine the qualitative data collected.

Methods: An initial sample of 19 taped therapy sessions and 23 interviews with psychologists and their clients was collected. This sample was extended through the collection of three further interviews with psychoanalytically aware psychologists. The data were analysed using grounded theory.

Results: A grounded theory model of therapy processes in psychosis was developed that conceptualized therapist actions as providing an observational scaffold to support the client's efforts in moving to new perspectives on their situation. Consistent with the understanding of the core therapy activity as a dialogical process, this set of therapist actions was understood as occurring alongside other therapist activities involved in managing emotion and building a relationship in therapy.

Conclusions: The central activity of therapy in psychosis was understood as a dialogical process continuously negotiated between therapist and client in conversation and was conceptually summarized in the grounded theory as 'building bridges to observational perspectives'. However, the active and strategic efforts of psychologists to sustain the dialogue implied a particular assumption of responsibility for maintaining this process. In particular, therapists appeared to be 'working to maintain observational perspectives', 'managing emotion', and 'doing relationship' during the therapy conversation as part of the joint effort with clients to build bridges to new observational perspectives on distress and psychosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8341.2011.02061.xDOI Listing
September 2013

Female interpersonal dependency: genetic and environmental components and its relationship to depression as a function of age.

Aging Ment Health 2013 21;17(8):1044-51. Epub 2013 Jun 21.

a Department of Psychological Sciences , Birkbeck University of London , London , United Kingdom.

Objectives: Research has shown that female interpersonal dependency is significantly associated with clinical depression but is only marginally related to childhood environmental factors. This study replicates the finding of O'Neill and Kendler that such dependency has a significant genetic component and no shared environmental component and extends this by examining the effect of age and the relationship between interpersonal dependency and depression.

Method: A genetic model analysis for female twin pairs was made incorporating a scale from the Interpersonal Dependency Inventory, and the association between dependency quartiles and depression for both sexes determined. Dependency data were obtained by questionnaire from 4427 monozygotic and dizygotic twins, 90% female and this was combined with lifetime incidence of depression data in three categories of severity.

Results: Additive genetic variance components of 49% and 41% were estimated for those females between 19-64 and 65-87 years, respectively, with no significant effect for the shared family environment for either age group. Only female dependency was found to be associated with the incidence of depression. Incidence levels of severe depression for older females in the highest quartile of dependency were 26% compared to 43% for the younger females.

Conclusion: The investigation has estimated that nearly half of the variance in female interpersonal dependency is genetic in origin. It has also confirmed that high levels of such dependency are associated with the incidence of severe depression and this effect reduces with age. The possible reasons for this age-related effect are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2013.807421DOI Listing
July 2014

Lesbian co-mothers' experiences of maternity healthcare services.

J Adv Nurs 2013 Jun 14;69(6):1269-78. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

Aim: This article is a report of a study of lesbian co-mothers' experiences of UK maternity healthcare services.

Background: With the increase in fertility provision to lesbian couples, maternity healthcare services are increasingly coming into contact with lesbian co-mothers. Literature highlights the need to investigate donor-conceived lesbian families and an absence of research focusing on the unique experiences of co-mothers in the maternity process.

Design: The study followed a qualitative design and interpretative phenomenological analysis methodology.

Methods: A qualitative study was carried out involving ten lesbian co-mothers, whose children were conceived via anonymous donor insemination to their partners. Data collection took place between May-September 2009.

Findings: Interpretative phenomenological analysis revealed two main types of co-mothers' experiences, those connected with maternity service structures and interpersonal experiences with maternity care staff. Co-mothers felt excluded by heterocentric organizational service structures. However, the co-mothers' overwhelming experiences with staff were positive and inclusive. Despite this, co-mothers reported that any ambiguous or non-inclusive experiences with professionals left them questioning whether these experiences were due to homophobic attitudes or professional incompetence.

Conclusion: The results indicate that these lesbian co-mothers felt predominantly included and accepted by maternity services. Ambiguous interpersonal experiences, however, evoked doubts in this regard. In addition, organizational heterocentric structural barriers remain. Structural service delivery changes could facilitate co-mothers' feelings of inclusion and highlight the important role practitioners have in contributing to co-mothers' experiences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06115.xDOI Listing
June 2013

Commissioners struggle to cut back on services, survey finds.

Authors:
Fiona Tasker

BMJ 2011 Sep 19;343:d5961. Epub 2011 Sep 19.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d5961DOI Listing
September 2011

Long-term effects of the British evacuation of children during World War 2 on their adult mental health.

Aging Ment Health 2009 May;13(3):391-404

School of Psychology, Birkbeck College, University of London, London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom.

Objectives: This study of 870 respondents aged 62-72 years investigates possible long-term effects on adult mental health due to temporary childhood separation by evacuation in the United Kingdom during World War 2.

Method: Using univariate and multivariate analyses associations were examined between upbringing, evacuation experience and certain life-course variables with the lifetime incidence of depression and clinical anxiety, and also with the dependency and self-critical factors of the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire (DEQ) (Blatt, S.J., D'Affitti, J.P., & Quinlan, D.M. (1976). Experiences of depression in normal young adults. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 85, 383-389.) were examined by univariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: Those evacuated at a young age, 4-6 years, or who received poor foster care, were found to be at a greater risk of depression and clinical anxiety, with high levels of self-criticism. Compared to other groups respondents evacuated at 13-15 years age, who received good care, had reduced incidences of both affective disorders, comparable to those who were not evacuated. The quality of home nurture was also found to be significantly associated with both disorders. Structural equation models for each sex based on those variables significantly associated with depression explained 45% of the variance of the incidence of depression for males and 25% for females. The models also confirmed the relatively high levels of dependency for females and their vulnerability to these levels in terms of depression.

Conclusion: The study demonstrated significant associations between childhood experiences and lifespan mental health, reinforcing the importance of knowledge of childhood history in the clinical treatment of older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13607860902867750DOI Listing
May 2009

Managing the impact of psychosis: A grounded theory exploration of recovery processes in psychosis.

Br J Clin Psychol 2010 Mar 7;49(Pt 1):87-107. Epub 2009 May 7.

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Objectives: There has been little conceptual bridge building between what individuals report as helpful in recovery and how psychological therapy might impact on recovery in psychosis. This study explores the links between therapy and recovery in psychosis.

Design: Grounded theory was chosen as an appropriate methodology to distil an explanatory account across the qualitative data collected.

Methods: An initial sample of 19 therapy session tapes and 23 interviews with psychologists and clients engaged in psychological therapy in psychosis was collected and analysed using grounded theory. This data set was extended through the additional sampling and analysis of 31 published personal accounts of the experience of psychosis.

Results: The study reports on specific elements of a larger grounded theory study that particularly relate to recovery processes in psychosis. Specific categories of activity were conceptualised to theorise the key activities involved in managing the impact of psychosis.

Conclusions: Therapy in psychosis appeared to be aimed at enhancing clients' functioning in the social world. In an effort to achieve this, it seemed that clients engaged in an ongoing effort to manage the impact of psychosis on both their subjective experience and on day to day life. The conceptualisation of this effort as an active, ongoing, and individually-directed process was consistent with other examinations of service user accounts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/014466509X439658DOI Listing
March 2010
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