Adoption, adult attachment security, and relationship outcomes

Foulstone, Alexis R. and Feeney, Judith A. and Passmore, Nola L. (2005) Adoption, adult attachment security, and relationship outcomes. In: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, 12-13 Nov 2005, Melbourne, Australia.

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Despite reports that adopted persons are destined for poor psychological and relational adjustment, this conclusion
remains controversial. Previous research on this topic has been inconclusive, and has failed to provide a complex
assessment of the predictors of adjustment. For instance, whether attachment security plays a key role in later
relationship outcomes remains unresolved. This paper presents the results of a longitudinal study of adults who were adopted as infants, and a comparison sample of adults who grew up with both biological parents. Two research
questions were addressed: differences in attachment security between the two samples, and the predictive relations between initial attachment scales and relationship variables (e.g., risk in intimacy, loneliness) assessed at follow-up. Attachment profiles at Time 1 indicated less security in the adopted sample than the comparison sample, and these differences were maintained at follow-up. However, adoptees who had not searched for birth relatives did not differ from the comparison sample. Although adoption status (adopted/comparison) was an important predictor of some relationship variables, it became less influential when attachment measures were included. Discussion focused on the complex factors that influence attachment security, and the need for in-depth study of the relational experiences of adopted people.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Awaiting Author version of paper, which may be deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher: 'This is an electronic version of an article published in Bowles, Terry (Ed.) (2005). Proceedings of the APS Psychology of Relationships Interest Group 5th Annual Conference (pp. 66-70). Melbourne, Australia: Australian Psychological Society.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2010 04:58
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: adoptees; security; relationships; attachment
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160807 Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences

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