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Lower threshold for referral for psychiatric treatment for adopted adolescents.

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  • 1University of Chicago, IL.


Epidemiological data on a national sample of 3,698 adolescents, of whom 145 were adopted, indicate that adoption significantly increases the likelihood of referral for psychiatric treatment even after controlling for the fact that adoptees display more behavior problems and come from more educated families. This is accounted for by the fact that adoptees are significantly more likely to be referred when they display few problems. Thus, contrary to popular myth and clinical lore, the overrepresentation of young adoptees in clinical settings is not attributable solely to the fact that adoptees are more troubled. Rather, adoptees do display more problems but they are also referred more readily even after controlling for extent of problems.

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