Focusing on developmental and clinical issues in children's adjustment to adoption, the authors introduce this volume with an overview of historical and contemporary perspectives, then explore various theories that have addressed the issue of psychological risk associated with adoption. Following a review of empirical research on factors that influence the adjustment process, the authors discuss different types of adoption, analyze methodological problems, and discuss clinical and assessment issues that commonly arise in work with adoptees and their families.
Theoretical Perspectives on Adoption Adjustment
The past 30 years have witnessed a growing interest among researchers and clinicians in the study of adopted children and their families (Brodzinsky & Schechter, 1990). Much of the literature has focused on the question of whether adopted children are at increased risk for psychological and academic problems compared with their nonadopted peers (Brodzinsky, 1993; Wierzbicki, 1993), as well as on developmental issues and individual difference factors in patterns of adoption adjustment (Brodzinsky, 1987; Brodzinsky, Schechter, & Henig, 1992). Other investigators have focused on psychological issues involving adoptive parents and/or the nature and functioning of the adoptive family system (Kirk, 1964; Reitz & Watson, 1992). A problem that has plagued much of the empirical research on ...