Youth Problems Among Adoptees Living in One-Parent Homes: A Comparison With Others From One-Parent Biological Families

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Exploring how rising family dissolutions affect adopted children, the authors investigated 2 competing viewpoints: (a) a double jeopardy hypothesis, positing adoptees are susceptible to heightened risks of adjustment problems because of a compounding of parental losses, versus (b) a buffering hypothesis, suggesting early birth parent losses buffer an adoptee's ability to accept parental loss from divorce. With data from the 1994 National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health, 2003), the authors compared adaptations of adolescent adoptees living with 1 adoptive parent (n = 143) with those of children living in step- or single-parent biological families (n = 7,457) in a nationally representative sample. Results were mixed, showing some support for both hypotheses and mostly nonsignificant differences on the largest number of behavioral comparisons made.

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