In recent years, research has suggested that adoption status and family interactions are
associated with adolescent externalizing behaviors. Conversations that acknowledge
racial and ethnic differences between international adoptees and adoptive parents may
also be important for adjustment. However, this association has never been empirically
validated. This study tests associations between family interactions, acknowledging racial
and ethnic difference, and adolescent adjustment using a sample of 222 adolescent
Korean adoptees and their families. Families that acknowledge racial and ethnic
difference had adolescents with the fewest externalizing behaviors. General family
interactions were associated with acknowledging difference, where positive adolescent
communication and dominant mothers tended to be associated with acknowledging
difference. Contradictory of general population research, generally positive
communication across family members was associated with an increase in adolescent
externalizing behavior. Future directions suggest examining the effects of acknowledging
racial and ethnic difference in adoptive families for non-adopted sibling and parent
adjustment. Future research should also further examine the positive association between
communication and adolescent externalizing behaviors in an adoptive sample.
Keywords: adoption, family interactions, Shared Fate, adolescent adjustment
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. January 2013. Major: Family social science. Advisor: Martha A. Rueter. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 50 pages.
Anderson, Kayla N..
Family interactions and shared fate: associations with adopted adolescent adjustment.
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