MON July 9, 2018 MON July 9, 2018
5:00 pm 5:00 pm
Foyer Mont-Royal Foyer Mont-Royal

Anna-Riitta Heikkilä

Graduate student, Department of Pediatrics, Helsinki University

Helena Lapinleimu

Pediatrician, Turku University Hospital

Irina Virtanen

Neurophysiologist, Turku University Hospital

Hanna Raaska

Child psychiatrist, Helsinki University Central Hospital

Hanni Rönnlund

Graduate student in Pediatrics, University of Turku

Marko Elovainio

Professor of Psychology, University of Helsinki

Elisabeth Ballús

Professor, Blanquerna Faculty of Psychology, Ramon Llull University

Edurne Urritia

Graduate student in pscyhology, University of Deusto

Mar Casas

Researcher, Blanquerna Faculty of Psychology, Ramon Llull University

Felix Loizaga

Professor of psychology, University of Deusto

Lara Boivin Évangeliste

Graduate student in psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal

Louise Cossette

Professor, Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal

Sophie Gilbert

Professor, Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal

Catherine Smith

Graduate student in psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal

Cybèle Beauvais-Dubois

Graduate student in psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal

Johanne Thomson-Sweeny

Graduate student in social work, Université de Montréal

Jasmin Alian

Doctoral student in logopedics, University of Helsinki

Helena Lapinleimu

Pediatrician, Turku University Hospital

Suvi Stolt

Associate Professor, Department of Psychlogy and Logopedics, University of Helsinki

Catherine Smith

Graduate student in psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal

Louise Cossette

Professor, Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal

Cybèle Beauvais-Dubois

Graduate student in psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal

Carmen Paniagua

Graduate student in psychology, University of Seville

Carmen Moreno

Professor, Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Seville

Francisco Rivera

Professor, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Seville

Inmaculada Sánchez-Queija

Professor, Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Seville

Isabel Cáceres

Graduate student in psychology, University of Seville

Elizabeth Shewark

Graduate student in psychlogy, Penn State University

David Reiss

Clinical Professor, School of medicine, Yale University

Jody Ganiban

Professor of psychology, George Washington University

Daniel Shaw

Professor, Psychology Department, University of Pittsburgh

Misaki Natsuaki

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California Riverside

Leslie Leve

Professor, College of Education, University of Oregon

Jenae Neiderhiser

Professor, Department of Psychology, Penn State University

Amanda Ramos

Graduate student in psychology, Penn State University

Damon Martin

Manager, Intercountry Adoption Service, International Social Service Australia

Reihonna Frost

Graduate student in psychology, Clark University

Abbie Goldberg

Abbie Goldberg

Professeure associée, Département de psychologie, Clark University

Emily Zhang

Graduate student of Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University

Ellen Pinderghughes

Professor, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study & Human Development, Tufts University

Xian Zhang

Graduate student of Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University

Sushri Sangita Puhan

Graduate student in social work, University of Sussex

Marguerite Baron

Interne, Faculté de médecine Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris VI

Frederic Sorge

Pediatrician, Hôpital Necker enfants malades

Laurie C. Miller

Professor of Pediatrics, Nutirtion and Child Development, Tufts University

Yolanda Sánchez-Sandoval

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Cadiz

Ana López

Professor of psychology, University of Seville

Violeta Luque

Professor of psychology, Universidad de Cádiz

Pilar Ridao

Professor, Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Seville

Laura Verdugo

Research Assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Cadiz

Natalia Jiménez

Department of Didactics, Universidad de Cádiz

Sandra Melero

Graduate student in psychology, University of Cadiz

Francisca Torres

Psychologist, City council of Ayamonte

Maite Román

Associate Professor, Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Seville

Jesús Palacios

Jesús Palacios

Professeur, Département de psychologie développementale, Université de Séville

Isabel Cáceres

Graduate student in psychology, University of Seville

Esperanza León

Associate Professor, Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Seville

Maria Gracia Peñarrubia

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University Loyola Andalucía

Esperanza León

Associate Professor, Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Seville

Jesús Palacios

Jesús Palacios

Professeur, Département de psychologie développementale, Université de Séville

Carmen Moreno

Professor, Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Seville

Maite Román

Associate Professor, Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Seville

Isabel Cáceres

Graduate student in psychology, University of Seville

Présentations par affiche / Poster session

Profile differences in sleep among internationally adopted children and their controls - results from the Finnish Adoption (FinAdo) -study

In clinical studies parents of internationally adopted children often report that their children have sleeping problems, including bedtime resistance, sleep onset delays, parasomnias and sleep anxiety. Internationally adopted children also may have multiple risk factors for poor sleep. There are, however, only few scientific studies examining the objective sleep quality and quantity of internationally adopted children. The aim of this study was to examine the objective quality and quantity of sleep among internationally adopted children compared to children living with their biological parents.

The Finnish Adoption study (FinAdo 2) is an on-going follow-up study of the wellbeing of internationally adopted children in Finland. Eighty internationally adopted children aged 1 to 7 years (Mean 3.1 years) and 99 controls aged 2 to 6 years (Mean 4.0 years) attended a one-week actigraph recording to assess the child’s sleep twice with one year in between.

Sleep characteristics were assessed in the two data collection phases (Time 1 and Time 2) by using an actigraphy bracelet (GeneActiv Original; Activinsights Ltd, Kimbolton, United Kingdom) worn on the child’s non-dominant wrist for seven days. The bracelet was removed from the wrist during bathing and contact sports only. The parents were advised to press the event button on the bracelet when the child went to bed and when the child rose up both at night and daytime naps. In the sleep diaries parents were guided to write down every bedtime and get up time, as well as every removal of the bracelet and the reason for it.

We used latent class analyses (LCA) to detect potential sleep characteristics profiles and whether adoption status was associated with profile class membership. The latent subgroups in this study were time spent in bed, total sleep time, fragmentation index, and sleep efficiency. All of the sleep characteristics were standardized, mean = 0, std = 1.

According to LCA there were two distinct groups with different sleep quality and structure profiles. Class 2 children spent more time in bed and they slept slightly more at both measurements than class 1 children, but their fragmentation index of sleep was higher and sleep efficiency lower at both study phases. The results from the logistic regression analyses showed that internationally adopted children were more often presented in class 2, but this association was attenuated after adjusting for age and gender. The internationally adopted children were younger than the controls.

In this study, sleep in internationally adopted children was more fragmented and inefficient than sleep in controls, but this difference may be due to the younger age of the adopted children. These findings also suggest that sleep in internationally adopted children does not differ as widely as assumed from that of their controls. More studies are needed to find out explanations for parental experiences of sleeping disturbances of their children.

Attachment Picture Story (APS): Adaptation and validation of a projective test to evaluate attachment in adolescence

The Attachment Pictures Story (APS) is an adaptation of the thematic projective test Corman’s Patte Noire to assess internal representations of attachment in adolescents. It consists in analysing the responses to the stories in seven selected pictures which elicit attachment experiences.

The purpose of this study was to describe the development and verification of the reliability and validity parameters of the APS based on a sample of 77 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 (M=14.71; SD=2.07) who were enrolled in schools in Spain.

The results show evidence of the instrument’s psychometric properties. A satisfactory content validity through the inter-judge agreement of four experts for pictures and items and suitable reliability indexes were found. The exploratory factory analysis confirms the five preestablished categories based on theory (Secure/Insecure avoidant, Insecure fearful, Insecure resistant and Unresolved). The APS appears to be a psychometrically suitable instrument to evaluate attachment patterns in adolescents in a quantitative and qualitative way.

Some implications of are study are connected with professionals practices in post-adoption services and clinical interventions. Having a specific projective test that helps us understand adolescents may be useful in facilitating the expression of early and sometimes adverse attachment relationships, which are difficult to articulate. It means especially to those situations of adverse early experience such as that of adopted children.

Questionnements identitaires à l’adolescence d’enfants adoptés à l’étranger

L’adolescence comporte de nombreux défis pour les enfants adoptés à l’étranger.Plusieurs études suggèrent que le développement identitaire de ces adolescent-es peut s’avérer complexe en raison de l’adoption. Leur meilleure compréhension des implications de leur adoption, notamment leur conscience d’appartenir à deux familles et à deux cultures, est susceptible de faire émerger divers questionnements qui peuvent être à l’origine d’une confusion identitaire. Selon certains auteurs, cette confusion pourrait s’avérer l’une des sources des symptômes de troubles extériorisés fréquemment présentés par ces adolescent-es. Malgré cela, peu de recherches se sont intéressées au contenu des questionnements identitaires des adolescent-es adoptés à l’étranger. L’objectif de la présente étude est de décrire ces questionnements identitaires ainsi que de documenter leur expression singulière.

L’échantillon étudié comprend 60 adolescentes et 16 adolescents âgés en moyenne de 15 ans et adoptés avant l’âge de 18 mois de Chine, de Russie, du Viet Nam, de Thaïlande, de Taiwan, de Corée du sud, du Cambodge, d’Haïti et de Bolivie. Elles et ils ont répondu à plusieurs questionnaires en plus de se prêter à une entrevue semi-structurée concernant leurs préoccupations en lien avec leur adoption.
Une analyse thématique effectuée sur l’ensemble des réponses obtenues montre que les questionnements des adolescent-es portent, en grande majorité, sur les éléments de leur histoire qui leurs sont inconnus, notamment sur les circonstances de leur abandon et de leur adoption, sur leur cheminement avant l’adoption, sur leur famille biologique et sur ce qu’aurait été leur vie si elles ou ils n’avaient pas été adoptés. C’est au travers de discussions avec leurs parents que certain-es adolescent-es tentent de reconstruire l’histoire de leurs origines. Les parents racontent le récit de leur adoption, décrivent le pays d’origine et proposent, parfois, des hypothèses aux questions sans réponse.

La plupart des adolescent-es ont rapporté un désir de retourner dans leur pays d’origine. Certains-es y voient une opportunité de trouver des réponses à leurs questions en découvrant la culture du pays, en visitant les lieux de leur naissance ainsi que l’orphelinat qui les a accueillis. D’autres, au contraire, souhaitent retourner dans leur pays d’origine tout en manifestant un désintérêt pour leur adoption. Les rares adolescent-es ne souhaitant pas retourner dans leur pays d’origine entretiennent, pour la plupart, une représentation négative du pays. Il est intéressant de noter que si plusieurs adolescents-es ont mentionné leur curiosité à l’égard de leur famille biologique, peu en discutent avec leurs parents adoptifs. Les résultats de cette étude permettront de mieux orienter les interventions qui sont offertes aux adolescent-es adopté-es à l’étranger.

Virtual contact between internationally adopted adults and their birth families

It is well known today that the search for information on their origins and their birth families through new communication technology can be overwhelming and distressing for adopted people. Studies show that when these technologies are used by a member of the birth family to unexpectedly contact the adopted person, different issues can arise. These new communication technologies can complicate adopted people’s lives.

The present study’s aim is to explore internationally adopted adults’ experience and perceptions of virtual contact with their birth families.

Methodology: Individual semi-directed interviews were carried out with eight adopted adults who experienced the studied reality. Two focus groups were also conducted with internationally adopted adults who had not lived a virtual contact with their birth families in order to explore their views on the subject.

Preliminary results: While the analysis is ongoing, preliminary results reveal that virtual contact with their birth families can provoke ambivalence in the participants. One person alone can experience joy and excitement as well as fear, panic attacks or a rise of feelings of abandonment. There seems to be a general preoccupation shared by the participants, the ones who knew firsthand of virtual contact with their birth families as well as the focus group participants, of a continued relationship after the first contact. Not knowing how to foresee such a relationship, many express uncertainty about this aspect of the contact.

The knowledge produced by this study will enable a more in depth reflection on and understanding of the issues brought on by contacts between internationally adopted people and their birth families in an era of new communication technology.

Lexical and grammatical language skills of internationally adopted children at 2 years of age – results from Finnish Adoption Study (FinAdo)

Background. Previous studies have suggested that internationally adopted children have a higher risk for language difficulties. Due to a limited number of studies, further information is required to confirm the previous findings. In addition, it is important to get more specific information of language development of internationally adopted children. In this study, we wanted to investigate the lexical and grammatical language skills of internationally adopted children at 2 years of age.

Methods. Study population included 44 (boys=25) internationally adopted children (ADO-C) adopted from several countries; South-Africa (n=29), China (n=7), Ethiopia (n=4), Columbia (n=3) and Thailand (n=1). The Finnish version of the MacArthur Communicative Developmental Inventory (FinCDI) was used to measure lexicon size and grammatical skills (number of morphological inflections, the mean length of the three longest utterances, M3L value) at the age of 2 years (mean 24,2 months, SD=0,2). The values of the norming group (NO-C; N=95; Lyytinen, 1999) of the FinCDI method were used as a baseline to evaluate the values of the adopted children.

Results. The mean values of participants were generally lower in all measured variables compared to the norms of the FinCDI (lexicon size: ADO-C mean 183 words, SD=143, NO-C mean 278 words, SD=163; number of morphological inflections: ADO-C mean 6, SD=5, NO-C mean 9, SD=5; M3L value: ADO-C mean 4,0 morphemes, SD=2,5, NO-C mean 5,7 morphemes, SD=3,0). The weakest 10% percentile values of the norming group are as following: lexicon size – 30 words, the number of morphological inflections – 1,2, M3L value – 2,06 morphemes. In the grammatical variables measured, the percentage of children with very weak skills (<10% percentile value of the norming group) was clearly larger in the ADO-C group (morphological inflections: ADO-C 21 %, NO-C 10%; M3L: ADO-C 23 %, NO-C 10%). Regarding the lexicon size, the respective percentage was 11% in the ADO-C group and 10% in the NO-C group.

Summary. Although the mean value of the lexicon size was lower in the adopted children´s group than in the norming group, almost the same percentage of children had the lexicon size under the weakest 10% percentile value of the norming group. On the contrary, larger percentage of adopted children had weak grammatical skills. Acquisition of grammar may be more challenging than the lexical development. Before learning the grammatical structures, children are required to acquire enough vocabulary. In addition, some of the children had spent only a short amount of time in their new home country and had had thus only a short period of time to learn new language. Furthermore, the possible effect of the background factors (e.g. pre-/perinatal, environmental) was not analyzed in this study. Our findings support previous findings of weak language development of adopted children. Therefore, it is important to follow up the early language development of these children.

Parent-child relationship mediates the association between ethnic identity, proximity to birth culture and psychological adjustment among international adoptees

Like any teenager, international adoptees must build their identity, a process that can be quite complex for those belonging to two families and two cultures, especially for children whose ethnic origin differs from their adoptive parents’. According to several studies, ethnic identity is associated with better psychological adjustment among internationally adopted teenagers, whereas other studies found no relationship. The link between identification to their adoptive culture and international adoptees’ psychological well-being is also unclear. Parents’ attitude towards their child origin is however crucial for his/her well-being. Adoptive parents must tolerate their child’s curiosity about his/her origin, maintain a good communication about the adoption, and recognize their differences. These findings suggest that parent-child relationship could have an impact on the association between international adoptees’ relation with their birth and adoptive cultures and psychological adjustment.

The aim of this study was to examine the mediating role of parent-child relationship on the association between ethnic identity, proximity to birth culture and to adoptive culture, and psychological adjustment among international adoptees during adolescence.

The sample consisted of 76 adolescents (M = 15 years) adopted before 18 months of age from China, other East Asian countries, Russia, Haiti, and Bolivia. Internalizing and externalizing symptoms were assessed using the Dominic Interactive for Adolescents, a computerized self-report questionnaire, and the Child Behavior Checklist completed by the mothers. Adolescents also completed The Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment to assess the quality of their relationship with their parents (trust, communication, and alienation), the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (exploration, sense of belonging and commitment), and a home-made questionnaire assessing proximity to birth culture and to adoptive culture.

Although a large proportion of our sample reported being very close to their adoptive culture, no correlation was found with internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Proximity to birth culture was associated with higher symptom scores when assessed by mothers but this relationship was completely mediated by adolescents’ trust towards their parents. In contrast, the subscale Commitment and sense of belonging to birth culture was associated with lower symptom scores according to self-reports and this relationship was partially mediated by parent-child communication.

These findings suggest that the importance and meaning attached to child birth culture and origin may sometimes differ for adoptive parents and their teenager and be a source of conflict within the family. In this context, promoting trust and good communication between international adoptees and their parents is crucial to prevent the emergence and aggravation of behavior problems.

Bullying in adopted adolescents

Bullying is defined as a situation in which a student is frequently and intentionally attacked by one or several students who are in a position of power in comparison to the victim. Children involved in bullying are commonly divided into three groups: bullies, victims and bully-victims. The third group, children who both bully others and are themselves bullied, is the most problematic group, demonstrating worse psychiatric outcomes in adulthood than the other groups. A great deal of scientific interest has focused on the individual characteristics and backgrounds of bullies and victims. The aim of this paper is to analyze if being adopted may be a precursor to either bullying or victimization, as well as the possible influence of different types of adoption.

The sample was selected as part of the 2014 edition of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study. The questionnaire was answered by 251 adopted adolescents; 40.6% boys and 59.4% girls; 37.5% domestic adoption and 62.5% intercountry adoption. Regarding intercountry adoption, Asia (44.9%) and Eastern Europe and Russia (34.1%) were the main origin zones, followed by Latin America (21.0%). A representative sample of 753 non-adopted adolescents was used as a comparison group. The questions about bullying were adapted from the Olweus Revised Bully/Victim Questionnaire. Chi-squared were used to analyze the comparisons and Cramer’s V effect size tests were used to compare the different groups, controlling sex and age.

The distribution of victims, bullies, and bully-victims was compared controlling sex and age. Data show that differences between adoptees and non-adoptees reach a considerable effect size (d = 0.28). Furthermore, there are differences between domestic and intercountry adoption (d = 0.36). Domestic adoptees were more involved in bullying situation in general, showing higher percentages of being victims, bullies and bully-victims. Regarding the origin zone in intercountry adoption, Eastern Europe and Russian adoptees are the most involved in bullying situations.

Findings show that not all the adoptees are bullies, victims or bully-victims. Therefore, adoption is not a risk factor by itself. The risk factors are founded in different variables related to adoption that are more present in certain types of adoption and not in other types. However, some traditional risk factors in bullying studies are inevitably present in some adoptees, which could explain our findings: child maltreatment, early institutional rearing, ethnic minorities, poor academic achievement, learning and language difficulties, poor social adjustment and competence, etc.

The Early Growth and Development Study: Retaining Adopted Families in a Longitudinal Study

Adoption studies are a specialized sample critical to research efforts that offer insight into many environmental and genetic influences on a host of child developmental outcomes. Maintaining participant engagement over the course of a longitudinal study is critical, especially for rare and valuable adoption samples. This report, using the Early Growth and Development Study (EGDS), examines the factors that influence adoptive family engagement and, conversely, decisions to discontinue participation and the patterns of participation in adoptive families across the 11 years of the study.

The EGDS is a prospective, longitudinal study comprised of 561 families that include adopted children, adoptive parents (including 41 same-sex parent families), birth mothers (n = 554), and birth fathers (n = 208) from two cohorts. The median age of the child at placement in the adoptive home was 2 days (M = 6.2, SD = 12.45; range = 0–91 days). The majority of adoptive parents were Caucasian (Mother = 91.8%; Father = 90.4%), well educated, had an income of $100,000 or more, and were in their early to late thirties (Mothers: M = 37.4 years, SD = 5.6 years; Fathers: M = 38.3 years, SD = 5.8 years) at time of child birth.

Retention rates for any given assessment across the 11 years of EGDS are above 80%. We examined descriptive information on study participation across the first six ages of assessment (9 months – 7 years). Participation was defined as at least one parent completing some part of the assessment at each age (e.g., online survey, in home visit, or telephone interview). For both cohorts, 68.8% of the families participated at all assessments, 15.2% dropped at some point during the study without returning, and 16% participated in some but not all of the assessment ages.

Future analyses will include additional ages of assessment up to age 11 in cohort I and use advanced analytic strategies to identify classes of participation (e.g., continuous participation, timing of drop, inconsistent participation) and how participants may transition into and out of these classes over time. In addition, we plan to explore how individual and family characteristics might influence these patterns of participation. Specifically, we are interested in examining how child problem behavior, adoptive parent marital satisfaction, parenting efficacy, beliefs about genetic inheritance, and openness of the adoption may influence patterns of participation over time by using latent transition analysis.

Intercountry Adoption Tracing and Reunification Service

International Social Service (ISS) Australia, a small not-for-profit organization received Australian Government funding on 1/7/16 to provide an Intercountry Adoption Tracing and Reunification Service (ICATRS). This service primarily provides information, support, and counselling to intercountry adoptees and adoptive parents in relation to their decision to trace birth family overseas and the tracing process. ISS Australia uses the resources of the ISS international network and other contacts overseas to facilitate the tracing of birth family overseas and any information relevant to the adoptees identity.

ISS Australia advocated for funding to provide this free and specialised service to support Australian intercountry adoptees tracing overseas, as we knew this was one of the most important needs for intercountry adoptees.

Astonishingly since ICATRS inception our small team has assisted 195 clients, providing them with professional support and counselling as they embark and undertake their search journey. Whilst ISS Australia is committed to many of our clients’ ultimate wish which is to be reunited with their birth family, sadly for the majority of our intercountry adoptee client’s their search will take many years and is unlikely to ever result in any contact or a reunion. The complexity of international, cross-cultural, political and historical components can present enormous challenges to accessing information and locating people overseas. Therefore it is imperative that our clients feel supported through this highly emotional process, which even if unsuccessful can be therapeutic in itself as they have tried and explored various search avenues with support.

Nevertheless ISS Australia is proud to have assisted 50 intercountry adoptees and their families with tracing birth family overseas, and facilitating 28 reunions with birth family. Obtaining outcomes such as these are quite amazing in an intercountry adoption context.
ISS Australia is conducting a thorough Review of the Service in March 2018 which will result in a key findings report. ISS Australia would like to share our learnings, highlights and best practice in intercountry adoption tracing to the ICAR6 audience so more ‘receiving countries’ can learn and provide this type of specialised intercountry adoption tracing support.

“They were like rolling dervishes”: An Exploration of the Transition to Parenthood in Sibling Group Adoption

There are 100,000 adoptable children in foster care in the US at any given time and of those, an estimated 21% are listed for adoption as members of a sibling group. However, an estimated 2/3rds of children in care have another sibling in foster care, which indicates that many siblings are being separated in adoptive placements. Federal law mandates that agencies prioritize placing sibling groups together whenever possible. Despite practitioners’ encouragement of families to adopt sibling groups when possible, limited research exists on families built through this type of adoption, and what work does exist focuses on the stability of these adoptive placements. What is missing from the literature at this time is work describing the experiences of families built through sibling group adoption. In particular, no research exists that describes the transition to parenthood for families adopting sibling groups and their understandings of what improved or impeded their successful integration as a family.

The current study aims to address this gap. Namely, in this exploratory longitudinal qualitative study, 12 parents in 6 couples who adopted a sibling group from foster care were interviewed regarding their experiences as they transitioned from partners to parents. The transition to parenthood is an important life transition that is well studied in heterosexual, biological families and has been found to represents a significant time of change in the couple’s relationship as they face many changes. The small body of research that has studied this transition for first-time adoptive parents has found that this transition may be uniquely characterized by a variety of factors, including: the timing of adoptive placement is often unpredictable; and the process of transitioning to parenthood can be marked by instability and uncertainty.

Building on this previous work, the current study seeks to understand the unique experiences and challenges adoptive parents experience when adopting a sibling group. Using thematic analysis, we analyzed semi-structured interviews with each parent at several time points: before the adoptive placement, 3 months post-adoption, and then at times 2-5 years post adoption. Results indicate that sibling group adoption introduces several obstacles during the transition to parenthood including an abrupt change in lifestyle; a need to help children navigate potentially very different reactions to the circumstances of their adoption; and difficulty finding individual time with each child so that each parent can develop a relationship with them. Further, parents identified factors that supported their families’ adjustment over time including specific types of systemic support and individual factors within their children. Implications for policy and practice around supporting sibling group adoptions are discussed.

Developmental differences, community diversity, and the nature of microaggression experiences among transracially adopted children

Transracial adoptees are often easily identified as adoptees due to visible physical differences between them and their adoptive parents, thus prompting frequent conversations about adoption and race. Microaggressions (MAs), or subtle biases that are conveyed in everyday conversation, may affect children’s understandings of race and adoption particularly in middle childhood, when children are developing social categorization abilities that also shape an understanding of their identities. Multiple factors like racial diversity and developmental levels may affect transracial adoptees’ experiences and awareness of MAs. Adoptive parents may sometimes choose to reside in a diverse area to provide exposure to others like the adoptee. However, the literature offers conflicting arguments for diversity as a protective factor for ethnic identity or a risk factor for increased exposure to bias. Furthermore, little is known about the nature of MAs among young children and their awareness of MAs.

The present study is a mixed methods analysis examining the relations between developmental differences, community diversity, and the nature of MAs among 42 transracial adoptees from China, ages 5-9. Community racial diversity was assessed with data from the US Census. Interviews with the adoptees were coded for content of their adoption microaggression (AMA) and racial microaggression (RMA) experiences (nature of bias incidents, content of bias message, and awareness of bias). Common AMA messages children overheard included biology is best/normative (“Why don’t you look like your mother?”), phantom birth parents (“Your real parents are the ones you live with now,”), and possible discomfort with being adopted (“I don’t like to talk about adoption.”) Common RMA messages children experienced were alien in own land (“You speak good English,”), second-class citizen (“Kids don’t want to play with me because I’m Chinese,”), and invalidation of interethnic and intraethnic differences (“You two look like sisters.”). These messages were present across age groups and community diversity.

Older children experienced more RMA incidents (r = 0.473, p < 0.05); but age was not related to awareness of bias incidents. Despite living in communities of various diversity, adoptees experienced comparable number of MAs. However, when community diversity was categorized as high, moderate, or low, a greater number of children from lower diversity communities experienced more microaggression message types than children from other communities. That is, adoptees in low diverse communities experienced similar number of bias incidents compared to other adoptees but were exposed to more types of MA messages. Quotes from adoptees, findings regarding the common AMAs and RMAs that they experienced, as well as findings regarding relations between age and RMAs, and differences in MAs due to degree of community diversity will be discussed, along with implications for support of transracial adoptees.

‘We are a packaged deal’ – An exploration of adoptive parents perspective on (social) legitimation of adoption in India

Adoption is a long-standing practice in India, which has been promoted and advocated as one of the protection measures for children deprived of parental care.

Being a pluralistic and highly stratified country, India has witnessed a sharp rise in adoption over the last three decades. However, limited literatures on adoption in India have studied the subject primarily from an individualistic and clinical perspective. In order to have a better understanding of adoption practice in India, shifting from an individualized analysis to a social analysis, a qualitative research is undertaken to understand how the wider socio-cultural context influences this practice primarily from the perspective of adopted young people. While learning from the subjective experience of adopted young people, this study also draws on the perspectives of adoptive parents to contextualize the information. This abstract is an extraction of the research that presents the perspectives of adoptive parents and how have they engaged strategically to legitimize their choices of adoption in maintaining their social relationships.

By employing a semi-structured interview followed by a narrative analysis this paper attempts to learn from the subjective experience of adoptive parents by presenting an array of evidences covering a wider socio-cultural and economic context. Adoption in India is a closed and confidential practice due to the social stigma attached to it. It is significant to understand how have adoptive families especially the adoptive parents play a vital role to deal with the social stigma while negotiating their social relationships within the socio-cultural context.

Although the final analysis and implications of the study are underway, the broad findings appear as a gradual positive change of the conventional social norms within which adoption has been practiced in India. It will be worth sharing and discussing the rich experiences of adoptive parents in the International Conference on Adoption Research 2018 to get the perspectives of the fellow researchers and practitioners that would feed into analysis of the study.

Les enfants adoptés à l’international infectés par le VIH, le VHB ou le VHC ont une bonne évolution infectieuse, mais un rattrapage de croissance parfois limité: expérience en France entre 2010 et 2017.

L’évolution clinique et biologique des enfants adoptés infectés chroniquement est peu décrite. L’objectif de cette étude est d’évaluer la croissance et l’évolution de l’infection chronique d’enfants adoptés avec le VIH, le VHB ou le VHC durant l’année suivant leur arrivée en France.

Population, méthodes
Etude observationnelle de cohorte rétrospective contrôlée mono-centrique incluant l’ensemble des enfants adoptés entre 2010 et 2017, infectés par le VIH, le VHB ou le VHC, suivis à l’hôpital Necker. Un groupe contrôle d’enfants adoptés dans la même période, non infectés chroniquement, appariés avec les enfants VIH sur le pays d’origine, le sexe et l’âge ont été sélectionnés.
Les données cliniques et biologiques à l’arrivée et à 1 an ont été collectées sur les dossiers médicaux et comparées (significativité p < 0,05). Les courbes de croissance de l’OMS ont été la référence.

50 enfants ont été inclus: 19 infectés VIH, 8 infectés VHB (6 dépistés à l’arrivée), 4 infectés VHC et 19 patients non infectés appariés. 17/19 des enfants VIH et 4/8 des VHB venaient du Vietnam.
14/19 des enfants VIH avaient une charge virale indétectable (CV <40 copies/ml), 2 enfants un déficit immunitaire (DI) modéré (CD4 :15- 25%), et 1 enfant un DI sévère (CD4 12%). Tous étaient déjà traités par antirétroviraux (ARV) à l’arrivée en France.
La CV des enfants avec une hépatite était élevée (VHB > 7,87 log ; VHC > 5,8 log) 65% de ces enfants étaient en phase de réaction immunitaire active.
Tous les enfants VIH avaient un poids et une taille < moyenne. L’IMC était inférieur chez les VIH Vs contrôles (p=0,007).
66% des enfants VHB et VHC avaient un poids et une taille < moyenne. Aucun enfant n’était dénutri (IMC < -2 DS). A l’arrivée, la moyenne des z score pour la taille et le poids n’était pas différente entre les enfants VIH et les enfants VHB. Mais l’IMC était inférieur chez les enfants VIH (p=.002).
 1 an, un patient VIH avait une CV détectable (multi-résistance) et 1 patient avait un DI modéré persistant. La CV et le bilan hépatique des enfants VHB et VHC étaient stables à 1 an, sauf pour un patient VHB qui a séroconverti.
Les enfants VIH, avaient un rattrapage pondéral (53%), statural (33%) et de l’IMC (60 %). 2 garçons restaient dénutris (IMC <-2DS).
Les enfants atteints d’hépatite avaient un rattrapage pondéral (75%), statural (100%) et de l’IMC (50 %). Le rattrapage de croissance était supérieur chez les enfants HVB Vs les HIV (poids : +0.65 Vs +0.09, p=0.05, taille : +1.45 Vs. -0.03 ; p<.0001, IMC NS)

L’état de santé des enfants des enfants adoptés VIH VHB et VHC est globalement satisfaisant, en particulier sur le plan virologique. Le rattrape de la croissance apparait limité chez certains enfants VIH. L’effectif de cette étude est faible et des études complémentaires sont nécessaires pour éventuellement confirmer et comprendre cette observation.

YAPA20 Research Project: Young Adult Adoptees’ Psychological Adjustment and Developmental Tasks (a 20-year follow-up)

Adoption radically changes the lives of its protagonists. Psychological research has identified the main challenges and needs of adopted children and their families. There is considerable empirical evidence showing that adopted children are at increased risk of psychological maladjustment, being more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems than non-adopted children. Many researchers are currently focusing on identifying the risk factors that predispose adopted children to adverse outcomes. Furthermore, adoption is a natural experiment that is allowing researchers to discover the enormous potential of developmental recovery during childhood when moving from an adverse context to a favorable environment. Research with adoptive families is allowing the identification of factors that promote these children’s better adaptation and a more optimal development. However, there has been less research of the long-term impact of adoption during the first years of life on psychological development. Adults have to face new tasks (parenthood, work, …) whose resolution will affect their well-being and psychological adjustment. Adoptees must also assume additional tasks.

In this poster, we present the YAPA20 Research Project, a 20-year follow-up with Spanish Domestic Adoptees. Objectives, hypothesis, methodology (participants, procedure, measures), and preliminary results are presented. The principle aims of the YAPA20 are to determine the level of adjustment and psychological well-being of young and adult adoptees, to examine the role of adoption in the construction of adult identity, and to identify risk and protective factors that may be having an impact.

We designed a longitudinal study of 273 adoptive families (from which data have already been collected twice: Wave 1 in 1995, Wave 2 in 2001, from the Research Project ‘La Adopción en Andalucía’ headed by Prof. Palacios). In Wave 3 (2017/18), participants’ age is between 21 and 35 years.

We present in detail the characteristics of the participants (gender, current age, adoption age, health, early adverse experiences) and of their adoptive families (structure, educational level, …), and the main changes between Wave 2 and Wave 3 (some of the adoptees no longer live with their parents, some of them have children…). In relation to the sample, we discuss some research difficulties and some methodological issues to be taken into account in longitudinal adoption research (i.e., attrition). We intend to make a fairly complete profile of the psychological adjustment of this group, and their life course (health, work, family, educational, social). The possible complex relationships between pre-adoptive risk factors, post-adoptive protective factors, possible mediating variables and psychological adjustment are being studied. The final aim is to apply the results of this research to the development of prevention and intervention protocols concerning the psychological well-being of adopted adults.

Growth trajectories from infancy to adolescence in internation-ally adopted children

Research has shown that early adversity causes severe growth impairment, with deficits in all the main anthropometric indicators (weight, height and head circumference). Since most of this research uses cross-sectional designs, much is to be learnt from a longitudinal design exploring the trajectory of changes since early childhood until the teenage years. For this, an adoption design involving a sharp contrast between early adversity (including institutional care) and family protection and stability offers a unique research opportunity.

A longitudinal study of internationally adoptees has been carried out since their placement into their adoptive families until their teenage years. The sample consisted of around 25 teenagers adopted in their early childhood from the Russian Federation into Spanish families. Their anthropometric values were compared with those of a non-maltreated community comparison group, within the same age range. Physical development was measured at four different times throughout more than a decade of their lives. The first assessment comes from the moment of placement into the adoptive family, when the average age was 3 years. The second assessment was obtained in middle childhood, when they were 4-8 years old. After that, they were evaluated again when they were in the transition to adolescence, 8-13 years old, and finally, when they were in their teens, 14-18 years old.

Globally, results showed an impressive growth improvement after adoption. However, the recovery was not uniform between the different anthropometric indicators. The analysis of the growth trajectory and of the changes after puberty will allow us to test if growth recovery of the international adoptees has been complete, the extent to which it was homogeneous within the different growth domains considered and, finally, the differences with the comparison community group. Data obtained in this study will provide a better knowledge of trajectories of growth recovery after early adversity and the catch-up following adoptive placement in early childhood. Also, the information will provide a portrait of international adoptees in their teen years as far as growth is concerned.

Parental stress and children’s psychological adjustment in in-ternationally adoptive families throughout ten years of study

Parental stress is one of the key components of family functioning and one of the most important indicators of family wellbeing, particularly children’s psychological adjustment. Its study is of particular relevance at times of important transitions or when the family faces special circumstances. Within the context of adoption, there are many studies of parental stress but there are fewer using a longitudinal design to explore throughout time. A longitudinal study of internationally adoptive families has been carried out from middle childhood to adolescence. The initial sample consisted of 59 Spanish parents and their children: a group of 29 international adoption families and another group of 30 non-adoptive families who served as a control group. Data were collected at three different times: three years (on average) after the child’s adoption at an average age of 3 years (T1); three and half years later (T2); and around ten years after first assessment (T3). The control group was matched in age with the adopted children and was studied in parallel with them at T1, T2 and T3. Globally, the longitudinal analysis of parenting stress shows a good level of continuity from T1 to T2, for both adoptive and non-adoptive parents, but not with T3. Furthermore, the results show mostly the absence of significant differences between the adoptive and non-adoptive families in parental stress at T1 and T2, but the adoptive parents stress scores are significantly higher than non-adoptive, at T3. However, a different incidence of medium and higher stress levels was found (more adoptive families scored above the 25% cut-off). Moreover, the results demonstrate how the level of parental stress correlates with the children’s psychological adjustment (emotional and socio-behavioural problems), for both the adoption and non-adoption samples. The results obtained in this study will provide a better knowledge of development and changes in parental stress and their relationship with children’s psychological adjustment in internationally adopted families.