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Child Youth Serv Rev. 2012 Jan 1;34(1):205-212.

Factors Affecting Attachment in International Adoptees at 6 Months Post Adoption.

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University of California, San Francisco, Department of Community Health Systems, Box 0608, San Francisco, CA 94143, , .


This pilot study examined the effect of five child and maternal factors on the attachment security of international adoptees at six months post adoption. Results from the sample of 22 adoptive mother-infant dyads showed that age at adoption, developmental status, length and quality of preadoption care, and maternal attachment representations were not significant predictors of child attachment status. The number of preadoption placements and the child's stress level did significantly predict attachment status, accounting for approximately 40% of the variance in attachment security. Number of preadoption placements uniquely contributed 14% of that variance (p=.007) while stress level uniquely contributed 12% (p=.01). Children who had fewer preadoption placements had higher attachment security; similarly, children who had lower stress levels had higher attachment security. Results suggest that consistency of preadoption care was more important than its length or quality. Further, the relationship between stress level and attachment security raises the possibility that a lower stress level functions as a protective factor for the developing attachment with the adoptive mother.

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