Child–Parent attachment in U.S. Families with Chinese adoptees: what does mixed methods research say?

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Abstract

This mixed methods study comprised two phases. In phase 1, the author utilized a case study inquiry to explore the child–parent attachment in two U.S. adoptive families with four children adopted from China between the age of 9.5 months and 2.5 years. It aimed to uncover the real-life experiences of the two families and attachment characteristics demonstrated by four adoptees in the two families. In phase 2, the author conducted a quantitative investigation using a sample of 92 adoptive parents to examine child–parent attachment and the salient characteristics identified from phase 1. Qualitative findings indicated that children displayed distinct attachment behaviours immediately upon adoption; and adoptive parents’ sensitive caregiving facilitated the child–parent attachment development. The combined results showed overall positive attachment outcomes in the four Chinese adoptees. The study enriched the understanding of attachment theory and offered insights on clinical practice in working with adoptive families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Family Studies
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • caregiving
  • China
  • intercountry adoption
  • separation anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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