- November 2019
- Vol. 20, No. 9
Mediating Effects of Social Support in Childhood and Adolescence and Well-Being in Adult Domestic Adoptees
Research has shown that adverse childhood experiences and other emotional or behavioral problems during adolescence have a negative impact on adult well-being. A study from the Journal of Happiness Studies explores the relationship between social support and the well-being of adult adoptees. The study suggests that problems during childhood and adolescence have a direct negative impact on adult well-being, and the more emotional and behavioral problems participants had contributed to a lower score of adult well-being. However, the effects of previous difficulties were diminished based on current perceived social supports. That is, the more support adult adoptees believe they have, the less of an impact childhood issues have.
The study involved 70 young adult adoptees who are part of families involved in a longitudinal study that began over 20 years ago. It was measured with three different scales that assessed self-perceived social support, components of well-being, and the presence of problems in adopted children. In addition to the correlation between difficulties as a child and adolescent and adult well-being, the strength of attachment between families and adopted children also plays an important role in outcomes.
The results of this study suggest that adoption should continue to be considered as an adequate solution when a child cannot remain with his or her birth family, adoptees should receive social and professional support to help them recover from the emotional consequences of the problems they encountered in their youth, and adoptive families should receive additional support to improve attachment between family members.
"Mediating Effects of Social Support in the Association Between Problems in Childhood and Adolescence and Well-Being in Adult Domestic Adoptees," by Yolanda Sánchez Sandoval, Sandra Melero, and Ana María López Jiménez (Journal of Happiness Studies, 2019), is available at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10902-019-00124-8#citeas.