Adoption = Future Depression????

When I read about adoptions, I became interested in what the long term depressive effects on adopted individuals would be as a whole. Research that I found on the subject showed that health experts tend to disagree on whether or not people who are adopted have more incidences of depression than those who are not adopted. 

Studies say many adoptive parents are part of a higher socioeconomic level than the average person with children.  This makes them able to afford a higher level of health insurance and treatment. Therefore, it would seem as though maybe more adopted children who are having psychiatric difficulties seek out more therapy than non-adopted children because they are in a position to afford treatment. Skewing the results when you compare depression of adopted to non-adopted to look as though more adopted children have problems.

A study on childhood depression, in the 1998 issue of the Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, reported in a longitudinal study that there was no difference in the amount of depression compared to adopted children and non adopted children. They concluded, “At the very least these findings raise doubts about genetic influence on depressive symptoms in middle childhood and warrant more than usual the maxim that more research is needed.” Yet, at the same time an article in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America believed adopted children were more prone to having emotional difficulties.  However, they accounted for this difference by stating “problems are often accentuated and blown out of proportion by well-meaning but overly worried adoptive parents.”

Unfortunately, most psychiatric research and studies that compare the mental wellbeing of adopted and non-adopted children are concentrated on institutionalized individuals rather than the general population.  Another short coming of research is that, most studies do not include the data on the ages of children when they were adopted, which is a highly significant factor to they’re outcome in terms of proper attachment and adjustment.

From what I have researched I believe that while it is still possible to have an adopted infant with depressive problems it does not mean those problems were directly related to adoption.  Perhaps genetics, economic status or prior experiences, such as sexual abuse, would be a more probable cause for depression and psychiatric issues.

Katie Hasiak


~ by knhasiak on September 20, 2009.

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