The "birth" of an adoptive family: the psychosocial development of children and the construction of family ties. A longitudinal research project.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This research project is promoted by the Athenaeum Center for Family Studies and Research with the cooperation of the public adoption agency “Il Cerchio” Centro Adozione ASL Milano 1. The main aim is to assess the recovery in the physical and psychological development of adoptive children, from their entrance in the adoptive family to the following year and to observe their adjustment within the family. In particular it is aimed at: 1. investigating the physical and psycho-social development process and recovery in adopted children (taking into account their pre-adoptive experiences and some crucial relational and family dimensions); 2. examining the adjustment process of children after their placement within the adoptive fa mily and the transition to adoptive parenthood; 3. analyzing how relationships in adoptive families are redefined, particularly the marital relationship. The unit of analysis is the family, alias the parents and their children (siblings included). Thus, all the families involved in the adoption process (domestic or international) by the public adoption agency during the year 2012-2013 are contacted and invited to participate in the research project (about 60 families). The research has a longitudinal structure. Meetings are arranged with the parents in two different moments during the post-adoption period: T1 – within a few months after the arrival of the children in the new families – and T2 – approximately within a year after their arrival. The research has a multi-methodological approach and data are collected through the cooperation of professionals working in the agency. We intend: - to administer a self-report questionnaire to both parents in T1 and T2 (couple’s motivation to adopt, the adoption process, children’s pre-adoption experiences, children’s emotional and behavioural difficulties, children’s attachment problems, parental stress, the quality of the relationship within the couple, the relationship with the extended family and with the social context, parents’ psychological wellbeing, parents’ openness in the communication about adoption issues, parent’s perception of their adoptive parenthood, biographical information and SES); - to monitor children’s physical recovery through paediatric boards and to administer to the children a non verbal cognitive test (Leiter International Performance Scale-Revised) in T1 and T2; - to observe the entire family interacting during the execution of a joint task (Sceno Test) in T2. The research project and the preliminary data collected in T1 will be presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICAR 4. Book of abstracts.
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventInternational Conference on Adoption Research - ICAR 4 - Bilbao
Duration: 7 Jul 201311 Jul 2013


ConferenceInternational Conference on Adoption Research - ICAR 4


  • adopted children
  • adoptive family


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