Adopted adolescents' preoccupation with adoption: The impact on adoptive family relationships

Julie K. Kohler, Harold D. Grotevant, Ruth G. McRoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


This study examines the relationship between the intensity of adopted adolescents' thinking about their adoptions and their adoptive family relationships. Participants included 135 adopted adolescents involved in an ongoing study of openness in adoption. Adolescents who reported high levels of preoccupation with adoption reported greater alienation from their adoptive fathers than did adolescents who reported moderate or low levels of preoccupation. Adolescents with extremely high levels of preoccupation reported significantly higher levels of alienation and significantly lower levels of trust for their adoptive mothers and fathers than adolescents with extremely low levels of preoccupation. These findings, along with the divergences between adolescents' perceptions of dyadic and overall family relationships, are discussed in terms of how they relate to the process of adoptive identity exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-104
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Adoption
  • Family relationships
  • Identity development
  • Parent-adolescent relationships


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