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Families with children without a genetic or gestational link to their parents are functioning well
Date:7/5/2008

ave." In addition, researchers used the standardised Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, which produces an overall score of the child's adjustment along with individual scores for such things as conduct problems and emotional difficulties. Teachers completed the same questionnaire providing an independent assessment of children's adjustment.

The children's perception of the emotional closeness to their parents was also assessed. "We gave them a blank 'map' with concentric circles and told them that they were at the centre," said Miss Casey. "We then asked them to complete the map by placing family members and friends in the circle that represented the emotional closeness of each relationship."

A pictorial scale of perceived competence and social acceptance was also administered to the children. Pictures of children in different situations were presented by the researcher, against which the children were asked to evaluate themselves. This provided a measure of their cognitive competence, physical competence, maternal acceptance, and acceptance by their peers, all of which have been shown to be associated with the development of self-esteem in later childhood.

"We found that the family types did not differ in the overall quality of the relationship between mothers and their children and fathers and their children," said Miss Casey. "But the analysis did show some differences in the mother-child relationship between family types. For example, we found a minor trend towards greater sensitivity to their child's anxieties and worries among the egg donation and surrogacy mothers compared with the donor insemination mothers, and there was a minor trend towards greater emotional over-involvement with their children, and towards greater disciplinary indulgence, by assisted reproduction mothers as opposed to natural conception mothers."

The children in the different family types did not differ with respect to the Strengths and Diffi
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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