Psychology of Attachment and Adoption Psychology
The Attachment And Adoption Psychology Essay
Review of literature
Brodzinsky, D. M. highlights the influence of adoption on emotional, social, behavioural and academic functioning of the children in his study on long term outcomes in adoption. He argued that there is a considerable increased psychological risk among children who are adopted in comparison to those who are non-adopted. He mentioned three research studies explaining these risks: first, an epidemiological study which shows the percentage of adoptees in general population. The second study stresses on comparing adopted and non-adopted individuals in the clinical setting. It determines the existence of unique patterns of symptoms among adopted children in clinical settings. And finally, the third study compares adopted and non-adopted children in non-clinical setting and studies the behavioural and personality characteristics along with the adjustment patterns among adoptees and non-adoptees. Age, gender and family structure and dynamics are some of the variables that have a significant impact on adjustment patterns in adopted children. Pre-placement history involving prenatal and postnatal experiences also helps establishing adjustments problems. Steele, M. et al., evaluated the process of developing attachment relationships between previously maltreated children adopted in latency and their new adoptive parents with respect to the change in their mental representations (internal working models). The shift from the experience of multiple caregiving situations to a permanent placement is the central feature of an older child's adoption. The study also addressed the changes within the child's internal world and aimed at highlighting the hopes, goals and fantasies of each of the parent-child dyad in their new developing relationship. The move into an adoptive placement is the most radical intervention for a child involving a freshly drawn map and an entirely new set of experiences. Moreover, it of utmost importance to identify how and what might change due to this dramatic shift from less than optimal caregiving conditions to more favourable ones. All those children have common experiences of having lost birth parents or having been abandoned. Some also have a history of neglect, rejection and abuse. These horrifying experiences make them more vulnerable to negative outcomes in terms of their mental health and psychological functioning and abnormalities in social interactions. Niemann, S. & Weiss, S. conducted a pilot study - Attachment Behaviour of Children Adopted Internationally at Six Months Post Adoption - with a purpose of describing the attachment behaviour in children, six months post-adoption (international). They explored the role of two main factors - time and pre-adoption care in the development of attachment.