Research on the Mental Health of Adopted Children

Research on the Mental Health of Adopted Children


What does the research show on the emotional and mental health of adopted children? How do adoptees fare later in life?


Intended Audience:

This course is designed for adoption professionals and pre/post-adoptive families.

1- Hour Online Audio Course (Certificate of completion will be immediately awarded upon successful completion of the course including passing a 10-question quiz with a grade of 80%)

Course Overview:

What does the research show on the emotional and mental health of adopted children? How do adoptees fare later in life? In this course, Dr. Kathleen Whitten, a developmental psychologist and adoptive mother who researches the mental health of adopted children, discusses which factors have the greatest impact on adopted children and how parents can best help their children.

This course includes:

  • What do you mean by mental health of adopted children? How is it measured by researchers? How broad is this definition?
  • Generally when you look at the research as a whole, how does the mental health of adopted persons fare in comparison to non-adopted people?
  • What factors affect how much faith you should put in the research results?
  • What factors influence the mental health of adopted children?
    • Quality of attachment with the previous caregiver
    • Age at adoption
    • Intrauterine exposure to drugs or alcohol
    • International vs. domestic
  • Has research been able to tease out the protective factors that help some kids thrive despite risk factors while others suffer?
  • Why is there seemingly such variation in the results of adoption research on the mental health of adoptees?
  • How do transracially adopted children fare?  How to they fare compared to non-transracially adopted children?
  • Strength of the adopted family unit.
  • What type of parenting styles or techniques results in the healthiest outcome for kids?
  • What is meant by attachment parenting or sensitive parenting?
  • Open adoption vs. closed adoption.
  • Do adopted kids have a rougher adolescence?
  • Academic achievement is not a mental health issue, but what does the research say?

Please contact the Education Director for technical assistance or disability accommodations.

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Image credit: kristingissaro

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