Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 648–660 | Cite as

Pre-Adoption Adversity and Self-Reported Behavior Problems in 7 Year-Old International Adoptees

  • Noémi Gagnon-OosterwaalEmail author
  • Louise Cossette
  • Nicole Smolla
  • Andrée Pomerleau
  • Gérard Malcuit
  • Jean-François Chicoine
  • Gloria Jéliu
  • Céline Belhumeur
  • Claude Berthiaume
Original Article


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.


International adoption Behavior problem Self-report Pre-adoption adversity Longitudinal study 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noémi Gagnon-Oosterwaal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Louise Cossette
    • 1
  • Nicole Smolla
    • 2
  • Andrée Pomerleau
    • 1
  • Gérard Malcuit
    • 1
  • Jean-François Chicoine
    • 3
  • Gloria Jéliu
    • 3
  • Céline Belhumeur
    • 3
  • Claude Berthiaume
    • 2
  1. 1.Département de PsychologieUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Direction de la RechercheHôpital Rivière-des-PrairiesMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Clinique de Pédiatrie Internationale, Hôpital Sainte-JustineMontrealCanada

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