Orchestrating differences: The making of a family psychologist

Harold D. Grotevant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-127
Number of pages15
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
In 1980, I was contacted by Ruth McRoy, a graduate student in Social Work who was doing her dissertation on transracial adoption. She had heard that I had done similar work with Sandra and Richard. I served on Ruth’s dissertation committee and enjoyed our interaction very much. After completing the PhD, Ruth was hired as an Assistant Professor in Social Work. We continued discussing our common interests. Over coffee one day, she mentioned that a colleague who worked in a residential treatment center commented that his unit had a large number of adopted children–why might this be? After reviewing the literature, we discovered repeated findings that adopted children were overrepresented in clinical populations. In collaboration with Ruth’s mentor Louis Zurcher, we decided to pursue this question. We obtained funding from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to study adoptive and non-adoptive families who had adolescents in residential treatment. This project took about seven years from beginning to end, culminating in several articles and a book (McRoy, Grotevant, & Zurcher, 1988).


  • Autobiography
  • Family psychology
  • Identity
  • Narrative

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