ADHD-like symptoms and attachment in internationally adopted children

Neus Abrines*, Natalia Barcons, Diana Marre, Carme Brun, Albert Fornieles, Victoria Fumadó

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Internationally adopted children seem to be more likely to show ADHD-like symptoms than non-adopted children. The aims of this study were to explore the existence of ADHD-like symptoms and/or diagnosis in a sample of internationally adopted children depending on their country of origin and to describe the links that may exist between the display of these symptoms and observed narrative-based attachment patterns. A Catalan sample of 58 adopted children aged 7-8 (24 from Eastern Europe, 23 from China, and 11 from Ethiopia) was assessed with the Behavioral Assessment System for Children to identify ADHDlike symptoms, and the Friends and Family Interview to identify children's' attachment patterns. Results indicated that children adopted from Eastern Europe showed a trend toward more hyperactivity and significantly more attention problems than girls adopted from China. Children with a secure attachment showed significantly less attention problems and a trend toward less hyperactivity. More studies focusing on the etiology and treatment of these symptoms in adopted children are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-423
Number of pages19
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Issue number4
Early online date15 Jun 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012


  • Adhd
  • Attachment
  • International adoption


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