Internationally adopted children's general and adoption-specific stressors, coping strategies and psychological adjustment
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Van den Dries L.
We examined stress, coping and psychological adjustment of 68 children, aged 8-12, who were internationally adopted to Spain. Using the Kidcope, all children were asked about the most stressful general and adoption-related problem they experienced and the use and effectiveness of various coping strategies when dealing with the problem. For all reported problems, the nature of the problem (personal, interpersonal, regarding others), the content, the degree of stress it created and its perceived controllability were analysed. Emotional and behavioural functionings were assessed with the Behaviour Assessment System for Children. About half of the children mentioned specific problems concerning the adoption, with inracial adoptees reporting less adoption-related problems than transracial adoptees. For general and adoption-related problems, interpersonal problems were mentioned most often. With regard to the content, 'relationships' and 'victimization' were mentioned most often for general and adoption-related problems, respectively. Adoption-related problems were appraised as less controllable. No differences emerged in terms of coping with general or adoption-related problems except for 'self-criticism'. Overall, the children used many coping strategies and were generally well-adjusted. Identifying the problems and coping strategies of adoptees is important in order to help these children and their families tackle these stressors. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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