Start Date

13-5-2016 8:00 AM

Description

The purpose of this study is to examine communication processes within adoptive families using data collected from the perspective of a sample of adult adoptee college students (N = 183) from a midwestern university. Specifically, the relationships between age at adoption and adoption disclosure, levels of openness, and amount of adoption-related topic avoidance were analyzed. Structural equation modeling concluded that age at adoption and age at adoption disclosure were strongly related and highly predictive, and that as each increased, levels of adoption-related topic avoidance between adoptees and their adoptive parents also increased. Furthermore, level of openness was found to mediate this relationship; however, as levels of openness increased, levels adoption-related topic avoidance increased as well. Implications of this study include the need for adoption communicative openness (ACO) to combat adoption-related topic avoidance within adoptive families, as well as the need to empower and support adoptees in search of their own adoption-related information. Future research is recommended to further understand how adoption type, race, and gender impact communication processes, and how policy and practice can further support adoptive families.

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Psychology Commons

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May 13th, 8:00 AM

Adoption-Related Topic Avoidance: The Role of Structure and Communication Processes in Adoptive Families

The purpose of this study is to examine communication processes within adoptive families using data collected from the perspective of a sample of adult adoptee college students (N = 183) from a midwestern university. Specifically, the relationships between age at adoption and adoption disclosure, levels of openness, and amount of adoption-related topic avoidance were analyzed. Structural equation modeling concluded that age at adoption and age at adoption disclosure were strongly related and highly predictive, and that as each increased, levels of adoption-related topic avoidance between adoptees and their adoptive parents also increased. Furthermore, level of openness was found to mediate this relationship; however, as levels of openness increased, levels adoption-related topic avoidance increased as well. Implications of this study include the need for adoption communicative openness (ACO) to combat adoption-related topic avoidance within adoptive families, as well as the need to empower and support adoptees in search of their own adoption-related information. Future research is recommended to further understand how adoption type, race, and gender impact communication processes, and how policy and practice can further support adoptive families.