The emotional and behavioral adjustment of United states adopted adolescents: Part II. Age at adoption

Anu R. Sharma, Matthew K. McGue, Peter L. Benson

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47 Scopus citations


A sample of 4682 adolescent adoptees were divided into four groups, according to self-reported age at adoption: [adopted at] age 0–1 (infants), 2–5 years, 6–10 years, and above age 10. Comparisons among these four groups and a matched control group of nonadoptees were made on 12 factors of emotional and behavioral adjustment and family functioning. Results showed that as age at adoption increased, level of overall adoptee adjustment decreased. Of the four age at adoption groups, infant adoptees were the most similar to the control group. Those adopted above age 10 differed most from controls. The means of the middle two age at adoption groups were generally intermediate between the two groups. On some factors, these groups differed significantly from the infant adoptees and controls; on others, they differed significantly from the oldest age at adoption group. Interactions of gender, race, and age [at assessment] with age at adoption were examined. None of the three-way interactions in the respective models using each of the three demographic variables, adoption status, and age at adoption yielded significance. The present results suggest that adoptee—nonadoptee differences are strongly moderated by age at adoption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-114
Number of pages14
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This investigation was supported in part by Research Grant #ROl-MH42620 from the National Institute of Mental Health to Search Institute, the RespecTeen Program of Lutheran Brotherhood, Minneapolis, MN, and a research scientist development award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to Matthew McGue #K02-AA00175. Requests for reprints should be addressed to Anu R. Sharma, Search Institute, Thresher Square West, 700 South Third Street, Minneapolis, MN 55415. USA [].

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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