Adoption, adult attachment security, and relationship outcomes

Paper


Foulstone, Alexis R., Feeney, Judith A. and Passmore, Nola L.. 2005. "Adoption, adult attachment security, and relationship outcomes." Bowles, Terry (ed.) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (2004). Melbourne, Australia 12 - 13 Nov 2005 Melbourne, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

Adoption, adult attachment security, and relationship outcomes

Presentation TypePaper
AuthorsFoulstone, Alexis R. (Author), Feeney, Judith A. (Author) and Passmore, Nola L. (Author)
EditorsBowles, Terry
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the 5th Annual Conference of the APS Psychology of Relationships Interest Group
Number of Pages5
Year2005
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
ISBN0909881286
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttps://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/bitstream/1885/43179/2/Proceedings2005.pdf
Conference/EventThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly (2004)
Event Details
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (2004)
Event Date
12 to end of 13 Nov 2005
Event Location
Melbourne, Australia
Abstract

Despite reports that adopted persons are destined for poor psychological and relational adjustment, this conclusion
remains controversial. Previous research on this topic has been inconclusive, and has failed to provide a complex
assessment of the predictors of adjustment. For instance, whether attachment security plays a key role in later
relationship outcomes remains unresolved. This paper presents the results of a longitudinal study of adults who were adopted as infants, and a comparison sample of adults who grew up with both biological parents. Two research
questions were addressed: differences in attachment security between the two samples, and the predictive relations between initial attachment scales and relationship variables (e.g., risk in intimacy, loneliness) assessed at follow-up. Attachment profiles at Time 1 indicated less security in the adopted sample than the comparison sample, and these differences were maintained at follow-up. However, adoptees who had not searched for birth relatives did not differ from the comparison sample. Although adoption status (adopted/comparison) was an important predictor of some relationship variables, it became less influential when attachment measures were included. Discussion focused on the complex factors that influence attachment security, and the need for in-depth study of the relational experiences of adopted people.

Keywordsadoptees; security; relationships; attachment
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020441006. Sociological methodology and research methods
529999. Other psychology not elsewhere classified
520599. Social and personality psychology not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Queensland
Department of Psychology
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