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Adoption And Identity Formation There has been Adoption And Identity Formation There has been an enormous amount 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 reports that fifty-two percent of adoptable children have attachment disorder symptoms It was also found that the older the child when adopted the higher the risk of social maladjustment Benson et al 1998 This is to say that a child who is adopted at one-week of age will have a better chance of normal adjustment than a child who is adopted at the age of ten This may be due in part to the probability that an infant will learn how to trust where as a ten-year-old may have more difficulty with this task depending on his history Eric Erickson a developmental theorist discusses trust issues in his theory of development The first of Ericksons 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
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