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J Adolesc. 2004 Jun;27(3):267-82.

Adolescent adjustment in a nationally collected sample: identifying group differences by adoption status, adoption subtype, developmental stage and gender.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Florida International University, University Park Campus, Miami, FL 33199, USA. anthony.burrow@fiu.edu


The current study investigated group differences in adolescent adjustment by adoption status and adoption subtype in a national sample, in contrast to group differences based on developmental stage or gender. Secondary analyses of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health were performed to describe group differences in a broad range of adjustment measures (a) between adoptees and non-adoptees, (b) between different-race adoptees and same-race adoptees and, (c) across adolescent developmental stage and gender groups. Based upon a developmental deviance hypothesis, the current study hypothesized that early adolescent different-race adoptees would fair better across measures of academic performance, familial relationships, psychological adjustment, and physical health than their middle and late adolescent counterparts. Group comparisons revealed little evidence of increased maladjustment among adopted adolescents compared to non-adopted study participants. In addition, group comparisons revealed few differences across indices of adolescent adjustment by adoption subtype (i.e. by the degree of racial congruence adopted child and adoptive parent). However, significant group differences in adolescent adjustment were found based on participants' developmental stage and gender. The implications of the findings are discussed.

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