International adoption: Assessment of adaptive and maladaptive behavior of adopted minors in Spain

Natalia Barcons-Castel, Albert Fornieles-Deu, Carme Costas-Moragas

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Research on adjustment of internationally adopted children indicates that, although they have adequate development, more emotional and behavioral problems are detected compared with nonadopted children. In this research, emotional and behavioral characteristics of a sample of 52 internationally adopted minors were examined with the BASC (Parent Rating Scales and Self-Report of Personality), comparing the outcomes with 44 nonadopted minors, all of them of ages between 6 and 11 years (mean age = 8.01 years). Results indicate differences between adopted and nonadopted children related to somatization, adopted minors are those that obtain lower scores in the scale, and in the adaptability scale, where nonadopted minors obtain higher scores. Significant differences were found in the adaptive abilities scales, suggesting that nonadopted boys show better abilities than adopted ones, and no differences were found among girls. In general, boys present higher scores in externalizing symptomatology and depression than girls. Among adopted children, time spent in an institution is a variable that has negative impact on the onset of externalizing and internalizing problems. Minors coming from Eastern Europe display more attentional problems, poorer adaptive abilities and poorer interpersonal relations than the rest of the minors. According to the age at placement, attentional problems appear in minors adopted after the age of 3 years. © 2011 by The Spanish Journal of Psychology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
JournalSpanish Journal of Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Adaptation
  • BASC
  • Institutionalization
  • International adoption


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