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Presenting Symptomatology of Adopted Children

D.R. Offord, MD; J.F. Aponte, MA; L.A. Cross
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(1):110-116. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740130112011.
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TWO MAJOR questions to be answered about adopted (extrafamilial or nonrelative adoption) children are:(1) do they come to the attention of psychiatric treatment settings out of proportion to their presence in the general child population?(2)do the clinical symptoms differ between emotionally disturbed adopted and nonadopted children?

Concerning the first question, there is some agreement that a higher clinic arrivalrate does exist for adopted children than might be expected for the general child population.1 This higher rate is not, however, of the magnitude suggested by Schechter's study.2 When such variables as race, social class, prior contact with agencies, and base rates of adoption in the community from which the sample is drawn are taken into account, these increased rates drop from 100:1 as reported in Schechter's study to somewhere between 4:1 to 51/2:1 and 1.4:1 as reported to the studies of Simon


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