Adoptees facing adolescence: What accounts for their psychological well-being?

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Introduction: In accordance with the “resilience paradigm”, this study was aimed at exploring the role of the parent-child relationship in supporting internationally adopted adolescents’ ability to develop a strong adoptive identity and a feeling of satisfaction with their own life. Methods: Participants were 105 Italian adopted adolescents (13–17 years) asked to complete a self-report questionnaire. Results: Results showed that adolescents generally feel fairly comfortable discussing adoption-related issues (especially with their mothers), have a medium-high level of adoptive identity, and appear to be quite satisfied with their life. Moreover, while adoptive identity mediates the association between openness in communication regarding adoption and adoptees’ well-being with mothers, father-child communication openness has a direct influence on well-being. Conclusions: Findings highlighted that the quality of mother-child and father-child relationship plays a crucial role in guiding the process of adoptees’ identity formation and influencing their well-being. Recommendations for professionals working with adoptive families were discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Adoption communication openness
  • Adoptive identity
  • International adoption
  • Life satisfaction
  • Mother-child and father-child relationship


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