Publication Date

2009

Abstract

This dissertation examined changes in information seeking intentions and behaviors between adolescence and emerging adulthood for a group of adoptees who did not have direct contact with birth relatives in adolescence. Associations between information seeking in emerging adulthood and life cycle events typical of emerging adulthood, gender, and Adoption Communicative Openness were also examined. Data from 119 adoptees and their adoptive mothers were used from Waves 2 (1996-2000) and 3 (2005-2008) of the Minnesota-Texas Adoption Research Project (Grotevant & McRoy, 1998). Degree of information seeking between adolescence (Wave 2) and emerging adulthood (Wave 3) increased for the majority of adoptees (62.2%). Approximately 16% of adoptees experienced no change in information seeking and 22% of adoptees experienced a decrease in information seeking. Females were more likely to exhibit a greater increase in information seeking change between Waves 2 and 3 and information seeking at Wave 3 than males. Life cycle events typical of emerging adulthood including living out of adoptive parents’ home, being in a committed romantic relationship, and being a parent were not associated with information seeking in emerging adulthood. Number of life cycle events experienced also was not associated with information seeking in emerging adulthood. Adoption Communicative Openness was positively associated with degree of information seeking in emerging adulthood. Results suggest that adoptee information seeking is a dynamic process that takes place over several life stages and that open communication about adoption within the adoptive family supports adoptee information seeking.

Pages

72



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