Post-Institutionalized (PI) children, who have been adopted from institutional, hospital, or orphanage settings, often have struggles with various aspects of development. Much research has focused on the positive intervention of adoption on PI children, as adopted PI children show greater improvement compared to children who were maintained in institutions. Nevertheless, there are differences in the magnitude of recovery after adoption among PI children. There are many possible reasons that some children recover from their early depriving experiences more than others. Some of these possible moderators might be related to individual differences between adoptive parents, such as mental illnesses like depression. Maternal depression is known to have detrimental effects on children such as increased risk of psychopathology in adolescents with depressed mothers. However, there are not many studies that have looked at the effective of maternal depression on adopted children. In this study, it was predicted that the PI children of depressed adoptive mothers would show lower attachment security, degree of secure relationship between caregivers and their children, and higher indiscriminate friendly behavior, the affectionate and friendly behavior of all children towards all adults including strangers without typical cautionary or fearful behavior , in two aspects: physical and social. Results showed a significant positive correlation between the maternal depression scores and social aspects of indiscriminate friendly behavior. Other factors in the study were not related to maternal depression. Understanding these effects of depressed adoptive mothers on their adopted PI children will help in fostering an adequate nurturing environment through appropriate intervention.
This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
Effects of Depressed Adoptive Mothers on Adopted Post-Institutionalized Children.
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