The majority of transracial, transnational adopted adults think about their birth family and culture at varying levels throughout their lives. Although a normative part of development, thoughts about birth family and culture may be distressing for some individuals. This study examined the effects of an expressive writing study targeted at birth family and culture, as compared to writing about a work/school stressor or technology, for a sample of 84 Korean American adopted adults. This study also examined birth family thoughts and expressive suppression as possible moderator and mediator variables, respectively. In addition, correlates of birth family thoughts were explored. Although participants found writing about birth family and culture as positive and meaningful compared to the other two writing conditions, contrary to hypothesis, it did not improve psychological and physical health at one-month follow-up. Birth family thoughts also did not moderate the effects of expressive writing as hypothesized, although it was correlated with rumination, negative psychological, and health outcomes. Overall, the expressive writing intervention was perceived positively, but it did not improve outcomes. However, birth family thoughts, searching behavior, and adoption preoccupation should be explored in more detail in future analyses.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2013. Major: Psychology. Advisor: Richard M. Lee, Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 120 pages, appendices A-L.
Kim, Oh Myo.
Writing the unknown: an expressive writing intervention for adopted Korean American adults.
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