Pre-Adoption Adversity and Self-Reported Behavior Problems in 7 Year-Old International Adoptees
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- Gagnon-Oosterwaal, N., Cossette, L., Smolla, N. et al. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev (2012) 43: 648. doi:10.1007/s10578-011-0279-5
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To further investigate the long-term impact of pre-adoption adversity on international adoptees, externalizing and internalizing symptoms were assessed using a self-report measure at school-age in addition to mothers’ reports. The sample consisted of 95 adopted children and their mothers. Children’s health and developmental status were assessed soon after arrival in their adoptive family. At age 7, the Dominic Interactive, a self-report measure, was used to evaluate externalizing and internalizing symptoms while mothers completed the CBCL. Children’s self-reports were compared to their non-adopted peers’. Adopted children reported more symptoms of specific phobia than their peers. A significant correlation was found between mothers’ and children’s reports but only for externalizing symptoms. Self-reported symptoms were related to indices of nutritional and psychosocial deprivation at arrival, such as low height/age and weight/height ratios. Our results emphasize the importance of considering international adoptees’ perception of their psychological adjustment and the long-term impact of early risk factors.