Adoption And Identity Formation Essay Research Paper — страница 3

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negativity of adoptive parents about the circumstances of the adoption can be sensed by the adoptee, thus causing the adoptee to believe that there is something wrong with being adopted. Once again, this can cause identity formation problems, especially if the adolescent believes that he is inferior or bad because he is adopted and not raised in his biological family. The literature on adopted children has long documented particular and sometimes intense struggles around identity formation, and suggests that in many ways adopted children follow a different developmental course from children who are raised by their biological parents (Horner and Rosenberg, 1991). While most of the studies I read found that adoptees have difficulty in identity formation during adolescence, I did

find an article which refutes this point. Kelly et al. (1998) write: Developing a separate, autonomous, mature sense of self is widely recognized as a particularly complex task for adoptees. While many scholars have concluded that identity formation is inherently more difficult for adoptees some recent comparisons of adopted and nonadopted youth have found no differences in adequacy of identity formation, and a study by Stein and Hoopes (1985) revealed higher ego identity scores for adoptees. Goebel and Lott (1986) found that such factors as subjects` age, sex, personality variables, family characteristics, and motivation to search for birth parents accounted more for quality of identity formation than did adoptive status. In conclusion, it is difficult to say who is right in

their beliefs about adoptees and identity formation. The research I have reviewed has mostly shown that adoptees do have quite a bit a difficulty forming an identity during adolescence, and that this difficulty can be due to a number of factors. Negative parental attitudes about adoption can have a negative affect on the adoptee. The issue of open versus closed adoptions will forever be a debate, but the research does show that the more an adoptee knows about his birth family and the circumstances surrounding his adoption, the easier it will be for him to form an identity during adolescence. Most of the researchers who wrote about the family romance seemed to do so in a negative manner, when in fact I believe that the ability to fantasize about the birth family may be a healthy

option for the adolescent who is the victim of a closed adoption. It allows him to construct a view of what his birth family is like, and it also allows him to relieve himself of some of the internal pain which is caused by closed adoptions. Overall, most of the literature supported the notion that adoptees do indeed have identity formation problems. a6a Baran, A., Pannor, R., & Sorosky, A. (1975). Identity Conflicts in Adoptees. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 45(1), 18-26. Benson, P., McGue, M., & Sharma, A. (1998). The Psychological Adjustment of United States Adopted Adolescents and Their Nonadopted Siblings. Child Development, 69(3), 791-802. Benson, P., McGue, M., & Sharma, A. (1996). The Effect of Common Rearing on Adolescent Adjustment: Evidence from a

U.S. Adoption Cohort. Developmental Psychology, 32(4), 604-613. Brinch, P. & Brinch, E. (1982). Adoption and Adaptation. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 170, 489-493. Cote, A., Joseph, K., Kotsopoulos, S., Oke, L., Pentland, N., Sheahan, P., & Stavrakaki, C. (1988). Psychiatric Disorders in Adopted Children: A Controlled Study. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 58(4), 608-611. Hajal, F., & Rosenberg, E. (1991). The Family Life Cycle in Adoptive Families. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 61(1), 78-85. Horner, T., & Rosenberg, E. (1991). Birthparent Romances and Identity Formation in Adopted Children. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 61(1), 70-77. Kelly, M., Martin, B., Rigby, A., & Towner-Thyrum, E. (1998). Adjustment and Identity Formation in

Adopted and Nonadopted Young Adults: Contributions of a Family Enviornment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 68(3), 497-500. McRoy, R., Grotevant, H., Furuta, A., & Lopez, S. (1990). Adoption Revelation and Communication Issues: Implications for Practice. Families in Society, 71, 550-557. Wegar, K. (1995). Adoption and Mental Health: A Theoretical Critique of the Psychopathological Model. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 65(4), 540-548.