There Has Been An Enormous Amo


unt of research conducted about adoptees and their problems with identity formation. Many of the researchers agree on some of the causes of identity formation problems in adolescent adoptees, while other researchers conclude that there is no significant difference in identity formation in adoptees and birth children. This paper will discuss some of the research which has been conducted and will attempt to answer the following questions: Do adoptees have identity formation difficulties during adolescence? If so, what are some of the causes of these vicissitudes? Is there a significant difference between identity formation of adoptees and nonadoptees?
The National Adoption Center ...

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with this task, depending on his history. Eric Erickson, a developmental theorist, discusses trust issues in his theory of development. The first of Erickson’s stages of development is Trust v. Mistrust. A child who experiences neglect or abuse can have this stage of development severely damaged. An adopted infant may have the opportunity to fully learn trust, where as an older child may have been shuffled from foster home to group home as an infant, thereby never learning trust. Even though Trust v. Mistrust is a major stage of development, “the greatest psychological risk for adopted children occurs during the middle childhood and adolescent years” (McRoy et al., 1990). As children grow and change into adolescents, they begin to search for an identity by finding anchoring points with which to relate. Unfortunately, adopted children do not have a biological example to which to turn (Horner & Rosenberg, 1991), unless they had an open adoption in which they were able to form a ...

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the loss of part of themselves.
In essence, it seems that the adolescent’s identity formation is impaired because he holds the knowledge that his “roots” or his “essence” have been severed and remain on the unknown side of the adoption barrier.
The identity struggles of the adolescent are “part of a human need to connect with their natural clan and failure to do so may precipitate psychopathology” (Wegar, 1995). Also in agreement with Wegar, McRoy, and Baran is Frisk. Baran et al. (1975) wrote, “Frisk conceptualized that the lack of family background knowledge in the adoptee prevents the development of a healthy ‘genetic ego’ . . . .” In most of the studies surveyed, the researchers ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 8/12/2004 05:07:10 AM
Category: Miscellaneous
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2005
Pages: 8

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