Advertisement

Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 199–211 | Cite as

CBCL Behavior Problems of Post-Institutionalized International Adoptees

  • Brandi Hawk
  • Robert B. McCallEmail author
Article

Abstract

With the increase in international adoptions during the last decade, many researchers have investigated the developmental outcomes of these adoptees, including their extreme behaviors. Collectively, these results have not always appeared consistent across studies, perhaps because studies have used children reared in institutions or not, the institutional environments vary in severity, children spend different lengths of time in the institution and are assessed at different ages, and studies use different outcome measures. In an attempt to discern more order in the literature, this review focuses on 18 studies, each of which used the Child Behavior Checklist, and their outcomes are viewed with respect to these parameters. Results suggest that the major factor contributing to extreme behaviors is age at adoption, with those adopted after 6/18 months having more behavior problems, especially Internalizing, Externalizing, and Attention problems. Generally, samples of post-institutional children have more problems than samples of mixed or non-institutional internationally adopted children, and some problems are more likely to be manifest in adolescence, suggesting the effects of deficient early experiences are not simply the persistence of learned behavior but more general dispositions that become more noticeable or severe during adolescence. Findings are discussed in terms of early deficient social–emotional caregiver–child interactions that characterize most institutional environments as a possible major cause of later difficulties in post-institutionalized children.

Keywords

Internationally adopted children Post-institutional children CBCL behavior problems Effects of early experience Age at adoption Age at assessment 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper is supported in part by a NIMH grant R25MH5431813 awarded to Gretchen Haas and NICHD grants R01HD39017 and R01HD50212 awarded to McCall and Christina J. Groark. The authors thank Christina J. Groark, Megan Julian, Emily Merz, and Johana Rosas for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

References

  1. Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Child behavior checklist/4–18 and 1991 profile. Burlington, VT: Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont.Google Scholar
  2. Achenbach, T. M., & Rescorla, L. A. (2001). Manual for the ASEBA school-age forms & profiles. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth, and Families.Google Scholar
  3. Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  4. Ames, E. W. (1997). The development of Romanian orphanage children adopted into Canada. Ottowa: National Welfare Grants.Google Scholar
  5. Audet, K., Kurytnik, K., & Le Mare, L. (2006). Behaviour difficulties of post-institutionalized children. New Orleans USA: Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Convention (APA).Google Scholar
  6. Bongers, I. L., Koot, H. M., van der Ende, J., & Verhulst, F. C. (2003). The normative development of child and adolescent problem behaviors. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 179–192.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Bowlby, J. (1982). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. New York: Basic Books. (Original work published in 1969).Google Scholar
  8. Cederblad, M., Hook, B., Irhammar, M., & Mercke, A. M. (1999). Mental health in international adoptees as teenagers and young adults. An epidemiological study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40, 1239–1248.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Chisholm, K. (1998). A three year follow-up of attachment and indiscriminate friendliness in children adopted from Romanian orphanages. Child Development, 69, 1092–1106.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Colvert, E., Rutter, M., Beckett, C., Castle, J., Groothues, C., Hawkins, A., et al. (2008). Emotional difficulties in early adolescence following severe early deprivation: Findings from the English and Romanian Adoptees study. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 547–567.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Conners, C. K. (1973). Rating scales for use in drug studies with children. Psychopharmacology Bulletin, 9, 24–42.Google Scholar
  12. Doll, B. (1998). The child behavior checklist. In J. C. Impara & B. S. Plake (Eds.), The thirteenth mental measurements yearbook (pp. 220–224). Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements.Google Scholar
  13. Dozier, M., Albus, K., Fisher, P. A., & Sepulveda, S. (2002). Interventions for foster parents: Implications for developmental theory. Development and Psychopathology, 14, 843–860.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Fisher, L., Ames, E. W., Chisholm, K., & Savoie, L. (1997). Problems reported by parents of Romanian orphans adopted into British Columbia. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 20, 67–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goldney, R. D., Donald, M., Sawyer, M. G., Kosky, R. J., & Priest, S. (1996). Emotional health of Indonesian adoptees living in Australian families. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 30(4), 534–539.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Greenberg, M. T., Speltz, M. L., & Deklyen, M. (1993). The role of attachment in the early development of disruptive behavior problems. Development and Psychopathology, 5, 191–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Groza, V. (1999). Institutionalization, behavior, and international adoption. Journal of Immigrant Health, 1, 133–143.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Groza, V., Chenot, D., & Holtedahl, K. (2004). Adoption of Indian children by Norwegian parents. International Journal of Child and Family Welfare, 8, 98–113.Google Scholar
  19. Groza, V., & Ryan, S. D. (2002). Pre-adoption stress and is association with child behavior in domestic special needs and international adoptions. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 27, 181–197.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Gunnar, M. R. (2001). Effects of early deprivation: Findings from orphanage-reared infants and children. In C. A. Nelson & M. Luciana (Eds.), Handbook of developmental cognitive neuroscience (pp. 619–629). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gunnar, M. R., Van Dulmen, M. H. M., & The International Adoption Project Team. (2007). Behavior problems in postinstitutionalized internationally adopted children. Development and Psychopathology, 19, 129–148.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Hoksbergen, R., Rijk, K., Van Dijkum, C., & Laak, J. T. (2004). Adoption of Romanian children in the Netherlands: Behavior problems and parenting burden of upbringing for adoptive parents. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 25, 175–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Juffer, F., & van IJzendoorn, M. H. (2005). Behavior problems and mental health referrals of international adoptees: A meta-analysis. Journal of the American Medical Association, 293, 2501–2515.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Kadlec, M. B., & Cermak, S. A. (2002). Activity level, organization, and social-emotional behavior in post-institutionalized children. Adoption Quarterly, 6, 43–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kim, W. J., Shin, Y. J., & Carey, M. P. (1999). Comparison of Korean-American adoptees and biological children of their adoptive parents: A pilot study. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 29, 221–228.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Kreppner, J. M., Rutter, M., Beckett, C., Castle, J., Colvert, E., Groothues, C., et al. (2007). Normality and impairment following profound early institutional deprivation: A longitudinal follow-up into early adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 43, 931–946.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Maclean, K. (2003). The impact of institutionalization on child development. Development and Psychopathology, 15, 853–884.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Marcovitch, S., Goldberg, S., Gold, A., Washington, J., Wasson, C., Krekewich, K., et al. (1997). Determinants of behavioural problems in Romanian children adopted in Ontario. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 20, 17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Merz, E. C., & McCall, R. B. (2010). Behavior problems in children adopted from psychosocially depriving institutions. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 38, 459–470.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Miller, L., Chan, W., Tirella, L., & Perrin, E. (2009). Outcomes of children adopted from Eastern Europe. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 33, 289–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Office of Children’s Issues, United States Department of State. (2008). Total adoptions to the United States. Retrieved July 11, 2009, from Total Adoptions to the United States. Web site: http://adoption.state.gov/news/total_chart.html.
  32. Pollak, S. D., Nelson, C. A., Schlaak, M. F., Roeber, B. J., Wewerka, S. S., Wiik, K. L., et al. (2010). Neurodevelopmental effects of early deprivation in post-institutionalized children. Child Development, 81, 224–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Quay, H. C., & Peterson, D. R. (1983). Interim manual for revised behavior problem checklist. Privately printed (P.O. Box 248074, Coral Cables, FL 33124).Google Scholar
  34. Rojewski, J. W., Shapiro, M. S., & Shapiro, M. (2000). Parental assessment of behavior in Chinese adoptees during early childhood. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 31, 79–96.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Rosas, J., & McCall, R. B. (2010). Characteristics of institutions, interventions, and resident children’s development. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development. Unpublished manuscript, authors.Google Scholar
  36. Roy, P., Rutter, M., & Pickles, A. (2000). Institutional care: Risk from family background or pattern of rearing? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41, 139–149.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Rozek, D. (2005). Suburban mom ‘not a monster.’ Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 2, 2008, from http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-1574310.html.
  38. Rutter, M., Beckett, C., Castle, J., Colvert, E., Kreppner, J., Mehta, M., et al. (2007). Effects of profound early institutional deprivation: An overview of findings from a UK longitudinal study of Romanian adoptees. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 4, 332–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rutter, M., Kreppner, J., & O’Connor, T. (2001). Specificity and heterogeneity in children’s responses to profound institutional privation. British Journal of Psychiatry, 179, 97–103.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Stams, G. J. M., Juffer, F., Rispens, J., & Hoksbergen, R. A. C. (2000). The development and adjustment of 7-year-old children adopted in infancy. Journal of Psychological Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 41, 1025–1037.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tan, T. X., & Marfo, K. (2006). Parental ratings of behavioral adjustment in two samples of adopted Chinese girls: Age-related versus socio-emotional correlates and predictors. Applied Developmental Psychology, 27, 14–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. The St. Petersburg-USA Orphanage Research Team. (2005). Characteristics of children, caregivers, and orphanages for young children in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. Applied Developmental Psychology, 26, 477–506.Google Scholar
  43. The St. Petersburg-USA Orphanage Research Team. (2008). The effects of early social-emotional relationship experience on the development of young orphanage children. Monograph of the Society for Research in Child Development, 73, Serial No. 291(3).Google Scholar
  44. Verhulst, F. C. (2000). Internationally adopted children: The Dutch longitudinal adoption study. Adoption Quarterly, 4, 27–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Verhulst, F. C., Althaus, M., & Versluis-Den Bieman, H. J. M. (1990a). Problem behavior in international adoptees: I. An epidemiological study. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 94–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Verhulst, F. C., Althaus, M., & Versluis-Den Bieman, H. J. M. (1990b). Problem behavior in international adoptees: II. Age at placement. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 104–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Verhulst, F. C., & Versluis-Den Bieman, H. J. M. (1995). Developmental course of problem behaviors in adolescent adoptees. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 151–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Weine, A. M., Phillips, J. S., & Achenbach, T. M. (1995). Behavioral and emotional problems among Chinese and American children: Parent and teacher reports for ages 6 to 13. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 23, 619–639.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Pittsburgh Office of Child DevelopmentPittsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations