December 19, 2016 – 12:51 pm
Adoption—How similar are you to your Mother? | Study, Adoption and

The relationships between family and social support and early mother–child bonds are explored in two different cultural contexts with ten at-risk families with children under five years of age. Five families in the United States attended a family center program; five families in Ireland utilized a home visiting program. The experiences and perspectives of the ten participants inform the study. The findings of this study are rooted in the unique cultural contexts of the two family support programs and the ten participants’ individual meanings, experiences, and understandings. A qualitative case study approach is used. In-depth interviews, observations, surveys, videotaping, and document analysis are the primary research methods used. From these data, the findings are presented using descriptions and contextual details to compile portraits of the participants’ experiences and perspectives. Member checks and peer debriefing established trustworthiness. The case study findings suggest positive relationships between family social support and parent–child bonds. The social-support programs provided emotional support to families including non-judgmental relationships, opportunities to network and talk, and parenting models. Relationships and interactions with staff and other mothers helped to relieve their depression, reduce their sense of social isolation, foster communication, and provide social networks that positively affected maternal sensitivities and responsiveness to their children.


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