Research Proposal

Topics: Adoption, Attachment theory, Attachment parenting Pages: 23 (7726 words) Published: April 3, 2013
A. Overview
In analyzing social problems in our society it is imperative we realize the importance of psychologically developing children in need. Foster and adopted children face many obstacles in their psychological growth, ability to forge emotional attachments, and sustainability of positive self-esteem. Because foster and adopted children endure a unique set of emotional issues, particularly during adolescence (a time period crucial in psychological development), it is instrumental that we understand how to deal with the psychological wounds that start opening up during adolescence. The added confusion of being adopted in one of the most crucial developmental stages for children and teens alike reflects a unique situation in which foster and adopted children struggle to confide confidence within themselves and curiosity emerges as they begin to question and contemplate their past heritage. By working to understand and address the unique set of issues that begin to rise in adolescent foster and adopted children we can begin to relieve these individuals of psychological and emotional debilitations that deprive them of psychological and emotional growth in a time when they are already actively working to define themselves. By doing so we can not only enforce positive parent-child attachment but can create opportunities for children in need to grow up and become psychologically, emotionally, and cognitively healthy adults.

B. Background and Significance
Of the countless relationships developed in a lifetime the relationship between parent and child is among one of the most pivotal. In reviewing correlations significant to adoptive and biological children’s attachment towards their parents we only have to evaluate countless literature-based journals to formulate one recurring theme: a child’s attachment towards their parents is concurrent not with whether or not the child is biologically related but dependent on a) how long the relationship has had to develop, b) the strength of that relationship, and c) levels of factors such as trust, preoccupation, comfortableness, and alienation.

In a peer-review article printed in the Journal of Marriage and Family, a research team led by Julie K. Kohler characterized the ‘intensity’ of an adoptive child’s relationship with their parents as being a direct correlation of how often the adopted child has thoughts pertaining to their birth parents and heritage. This example among other similar studies points directly towards hypothetical findings that directly relate to how strong or weak a parent’s attachment with either their adopted child or biological child will be. It is evident through parent-child attachment literature and theory that a child’s attachment with their parents is contingent upon connectivity and identity of self, functionality of a child’s ability to adjust emotionally and behaviorally, intervention of the development of attachment disorders, and how preoccupation of biological contemplation effects levels of alienation, trust, and communication.

A child showing an inability to confidently develop self-identity as well as adjust emotionally and behaviorally often times has trouble communicating and creating an environment in which they are able to trust and construct positive occurrences of parent attachment; parents struggle more so with their adolescent adoptive child because the relationship hasn’t had as much opportunity to emotionally and cognitively develop as the relationship with the biological child. We also see the development of attachment disorders, particularly alienation, in greater instances than with biological children that creates a lower comfortableness to trust and communicate with their parents. In the majority of cases adolescent attachment is dependent on both life satisfaction of both parents and children and the satisfaction of the relationship, so when both satisfaction of life and relationships were high than the attachment...

Cited: Benson, Peter L., Matthew K. McGue, and Anu R. Sharma. "The Psychological Adjustment of United States Adopted Adolescents and Their Nonadopted Siblings." Child Development. 69.3 (1998): 791-802. Print.
Deater Deckard, Kirby, Marshaun B. Glover, Paula Y. Mullineaux, and Stephen A. Petrill. "Parents’ Feelings Towards Their Adoptive and Non-Adoptive Children." Infant and Child Development. 19. (2010): 238-251. Print.
Denuwelaere, Bracke, and Piet Mieke
Grotevant, Harold D., Julie K. Kohler, and Ruth G. McRoy. "Adopted adolescents ' preoccupation with adoption: The impact on adoptive family Relationships." Journal of Marriage and Family. 64.1 (2002): 93-104. Print.
Hungerford, Anne, and Martha J. Cox. "Family Factors In Child Care Research." Social Work & Welfare Services. 30.5 (2006): 631-655. Print.
Zuck, Greta A. "The relationship among adult-attachment style, adult personality, and parenting stress in adults who adopt maltreated children." Humanities and Social Sciences. 70.07 (2010): 275. Print.
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