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A study of adoption reunions and self concept in adult adoptees Moniz-Lecce, Sandra 1996

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A STUDY OF ADOPTION REUNIONS AND SELF CONCEPT IN ADULT ADOPTEES by SANDRA MONIZ-LECCE B.A., Simon Fraser University, 1988 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Counselling Psychology)  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 1996 © Sandra Moniz-Lecce, 1996  In  presenting  degree  at  this  the  thesis  in  partial  fulfilment  University  of  British  Columbia,  freely available for copying  of  department publication  this or of  reference  thesis by  this  for  his  and study. scholarly  or  thesis  for  her  Department The University of British Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  \4  Columbia  I further  purposes  the  requirements  I agree  that  agree that  may  representatives.  financial  permission.  of  It  gain shall not  the  permission  granted  is  understood allowed  an  advanced  Library shall make  be  be  for  by  the that  without  for  it  extensive  head  of  my  copying  or  my  written  ii.  Abstract  T h e primary aim of this study was to e x a m i n e whether a d o p t e e s who  had  e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion with a birth relative w o u l d s c o r e more positively on a m e a s u r e of self-concept than a d o p t e e s who  had not e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion. T h e T e n n e s s e e Self-  C o n c e p t S c a l e ( R o i d & Fitts, 1988) was administered by mailout to a d o p t e e s who m e m b e r s of the Forget Me  were  Not Family S o c i e t y or the T R I A D Society. A total of 159  adult a d o p t e e s participated in the study. Contrary to expectation, the results of the study i n d i c a t e d no differences on self-concept s c o r e s b e t w e e n reunited and  searching  a d o p t e e s . In addition, the m e a n s c o r e s of a d o p t e e s in this study w e r e within the normal limits reported for the general population. T h e findings s e e m to indicate that as a group, a d o p t e e s do not differ in self-concept from the general population a n d a l s o that reunions do not influence the self-concept of adult adoptees.  /  iii.  TABLE OF CONTENTS Page  ABSTRACT  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS  iii  LIST OF TABLES  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  vii  CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION  1  Background  1  History of Adoption  1  History of Adoption in North America  2  History of Adoption Reunions in British Columbia  5  The Problem  9  Research Question  11  Definition of Terms  12  CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW  13  Self Concept  14  Relevant Theories  15  The Self-Concept of Adoptees  24  The Tennessee Self-Concept Scale  30  Rationale for this Study  34  Hypotheses  36  CHAPTER III : METHODOLOGY  39  Design  39  iv.  Procedure  39  Participants  41  Measures  48  Tennessee Self-Concept Scale  48  Background Questionnaire  51  Data Analyses  52  CHAPTER IV . RESULTS  54  Preliminary Analyses  54  Gender Differences  54  Descriptive Data  55  Groups for Analyses  60  Hypothesis 1  66  Total Score  67  Other Scales Tested for Hypothesis 1  67  Hypothesis 2  71  Hypothesis 3  73  Hypothesis 4  74  Hypothesis 5  75  Supplementary Analyses  75  Age and TSCS Total Score  76  Relationship with Adoptive Parents and TSCS Total Score  77  Age When Began Living with Adoptive Family and TSCS Total Score  79  Identity as an Influence on the Decision to Search and TSCS Total Score  80  Correlation Among Variables from Background Questionnaire and TSCS Total Score Summary  80 82  CHAPTER V : DISCUSSION Other Findings  84 90  Limitations  101  Future Research  103  Implications for Counselling  104  Conclusion  106  REFERENCES  108  APPENDIX A  114  Letters of Introduction to Study Participants APPENDIX B  119  Instructions to Study Participants Background Questionnaire APPENDIX C Example of Tennessee Self-Concept Scale  130  vi.  LIST OF TABLES Table  Page  3.1  Characteristics of the Study Population  42  4.1  Most Important Influences on Decision to Search or Enter into a Reunion  57  4.2  Reported Effect of Reunion on Self-Concept  58  4.3  Chi-square Tests of Demographic Similarities between Group 1 and Group 2  61  Chi-square Tests of Similarities between Group 1 and Group 2 on the Most Important Influences on the Decision to Search  65  Means, Standard Deviations, and t-Value of Total Score for Group 1 and Group 2  67  Means, Standard Deviations, and i-Values for Group 1 and Group 2 on the Identity, Self-Satisfaction, and Family Subscales of the TSCS  68  Means, Standard Deviations, and t-Values for Group 1 and Group 2 on the Total Conflict, Total Variability, and Personality Integration Scale of the TSCS  70  4.4 4.5 4.6  4.7  4.8  Means and Standard Deviations for Each Group on Total Score and Other TSCS Scales  72  4.9  Childhood Relationship with Adoptive Parents and TSCS Total Score  77  4.10  Current Relationship with Adoptive Parents and TSCS Total Score  78  4.11  Spearman Correlation Coefficients for TSCS Total Score and Variables Derived from the Background Questionnaire  81  VII.  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  I would like to express my gratitude to various people who played a significant role in the completion of this research. First, I thank my thesis supervisor, Dr. Beth Haverkamp who generously gave me the guidance and support that I needed throughout this project. Her interest and commitment to this work, and to me as a student, was both motivating and inspiring. I would also like to thank my thesis committee members, Dr. Richard Sullivan and Dr. Judith Daniluk, for their valuable suggestions and feedback, and Dr. Arleigh Reichl who was always available to answer my questions regarding the data analyses. I want to thank Cecelia Reekie, president of the Forget Me Not Family Society, and Audrey Scammel, president of the TRIAD Society, for their cooperation and assistance with this research. Also, I thank all of the adoptees who participated in the study. Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights, and for the messages of good luck and encouragement. I want to thank my parents who have always been my role models. Thank you for your love and support, and also for funding this research. And finally, I thank my husband, Joey, who encouraged me to go to graduate school and who through it all, never got tired of telling me how proud he was of me.  1.  CHAPTER I Introduction  Background History of Adoption Adoption has existed throughout history in one form or another, in various societies in the world. The oldest written adoption law dates back to 2800 B.C. with the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (Cole & Donley, 1990). This first adoption law addressed some of the same issues that people dealing with adoption struggle with today, such as, the compatibility between adoptees and adoptive families, the trauma of separation of adoptees from birth parents, and the search and reunion of adoptees with birth families. Stories of adoption, such as that of Moses's adoption by the Pharoah's daughter, and of Oedipus's adoption by the King and Queen of Corinth, pervade historical writings. Although adoption has existed, in fact and in myth, since early times, its practice and purpose have varied widely throughout time, and from culture to culture. Kreager's (1980) study of adoption practices in the societies of Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America points out the diversity with which adoption is viewed and practiced throughout the world. Unlike the practice of adoption in western culture, the customs of adoption in most other societies are practiced as a part of everyday extended family or community relations, and not only as a response to crisis situations such as orphaning, poverty, and family break-up. In most societies, adoption does not entail a radical separation of a child from his or her birth parents. Rather, alternative forms of adoption are practiced as complementary to family relations and childrearing (Kreager, 1980). In some cultures, such as those of West Africa, West Indies, Malaysia, Islands of the Pacific, Southern Europe, and Latin America, adoption takes on the form of "co-  2.  parenting" and/or "fostering" by extended family members or kin. Adoption or fostering of children by strangers is very uncommon and, in some areas, even unthinkable. The rearing of children in these areas is a responsibility of the extended family (Kreager, 1980). Adoption happens somewhat more formally in parts of Asia; however, it is almost always by kin. In Chinese communities, adoption is typically a response to the absence of male heirs and usually involves a full transfer of rights over a child (Kreager, 1980). That is, one family member may relinquish his or her child to a sibling who is childless, thus providing the sibling with an heir. In most societies, such as the ones mentioned above, children who are adopted know who their birth parents are. This, however, has not been the customary practise of western adoptions, where children are sometimes adopted within their extended birth families, but are also commonly adopted by families with whom they have no biological connection.  History of Adoption in North America Adoptions began in North America in the mid-1800's. In the United States, adoptions were first practiced either informally or by indenturing the child to the new parents. However, with the beginning of the industrial revolution and boom in population, indenturing of children as an employment practice was discontinued and adoption laws were created (Cole & Donley, 1990). The first adoption law in the U.S. was passed in Massachusetts in 1851 (Sachdev, 1989b) and, in Canada, New Brunswick formed the first adoption legislation in 1873 (Kirk & McDaniel, 1984). These Canadian and American laws were similar in that they provided for legal inquiry into and control over adoptions. They also maintained that the purpose of the adoption law was to promote the welfare of the child (Cole & Donley, 1990).  3.  During the 1800's, adoption b e g a n to be u s e d a s a solution for providing h o m e s for h o m e l e s s children. A s reported by C o l e a n d D o n l e y (1990), c h i l d r e n w e r e m o v e d from the cities in the e a s t e r n U.S. to farming communities in the w e s t e r n states. T h i s transportation of children met with controversy. S o m e s a w the a d o p t i o n of h o m e l e s s c h i l d r e n into farming families a s far better than rearing them in institutions. O t h e r s w e r e o p p o s e d to the p r a c t i c e of m o v i n g c h i l d r e n from e a s t e r n cities to w e s t e r n s t a t e s to w o r k o n farms.  Despite this opposition, by 1 8 5 9 approximately 4 0 0 0 to 5 0 0 0 c h i l d r e n  h a d b e e n p l a c e d in the west a n d 2 0 0 0 0 to 2 4 0 0 0 h a d b e e n sent to other parts of the U.S. ( C o l e a n d Donley, 1990). T h e c h i l d r e n w h o w e r e a d o p t e d w e r e typically b e t w e e n the a g e s of 2 a n d 14. Infants w e r e s e l d o m a d o p t e d for s e v e r a l reasons. First, m a n y states p a s s e d laws b e t w e e n 1 9 0 0 a n d 1 9 3 0 prohibiting separating a child from his or her mother during a 6-month n u r s i n g period. S e c o n d , the death rate of infants in f o u n d l i n g h o m e s a n d institutions w a s very high. Third, f e a r of the child's heredity w a s p r e v a l e n t b e c a u s e most infants w e r e from poor immigrant families against w h o m there w a s m u c h prejudice. A n d fourth, many p r o f e s s i o n a l s serving s i n g l e mothers did not b e l i e v e in adoption, b e c a u s e they did not think it w a s g o o d for the mother or for the infant ( C o l e & Donley, 1990). T h e p r a c t i c e of adoption continued a n d i n c r e a s e d significantly in North A m e r i c a after W o r l d W a r I a n d W o r l d W a r II. A d o p t i o n a g e n c i e s d e v e l o p e d to c o m b a t "bootlegging" or "black market" adoptions by private brokers a n d to regulate the p r a c t i c e of adoption. A d o p t i o n a g e n c i e s continue to exist in the U.S. a n d C a n a d a a l t h o u g h their p o l i c i e s a n d practices vary. T h e practice of adoption is r e g u l a t e d by individual states in the U.S. a n d individual provinces in C a n a d a . British C o l u m b i a is the only p r o v i n c e in C a n a d a w h e r e adoptions arranged by private a g e n t s a r e unregulated, w h i l e t h o s e a r r a n g e d by the Ministry of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s a r e r e g u l a t e d (Report to the Minister of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s , 1994).  4.  In Canada, adoption legislation is a provincial matter; therefore, the regulations vary from province to province. However, it has been common practice in all provinces for children to be adopted outside of their extended birth family, to a family whose identity is kept from the birth family. Although "private" adoptions have existed between birth and adoptive families who know one another and maintain contact in some instances, the majority of adoptions have occurred between strangers. In most instances, the birth mother signs consent forms relinquishing her parental rights within days of the child's birth. The parental rights are then transferred to the adoptive parents, who have been selected from those who have applied to adopt a child, and the child becomes "as if born to" them (B.C. Adoption Act, 1957, 1989). In most cases, the birth mother and adoptive parents never meet and their identities are kept from the other. Legislation dictates that the child's original birth registration, including his or her birth name and the names of his or her birth parents, is sealed, and he or she is given a name chosen by the adoptive parents. While this form of adoption is popular in various parts of North America, it was entirely foreign to the aboriginal people of Canada until the 1950's. A form of adoption had long been practiced by the Inuit peoples of North America as a means of mutual aid among isolated bands living in harsh climates but their practice of adoption was very different than the western concept of adoption (Kirk & McDaniel, 1981). Nevertheless, in 1951, Section 88 was added to the Indian Act, extending provincial laws to First Nations people. Provincial child protection laws were imposed on aboriginal people without recognition or respect for their cultural and historical differences. In the 1960's, large numbers of aboriginal children were apprehended on perhaps wrongful grounds. Many of these children were subsequently adopted by nonaboriginal families without their birthparents' consent (Report to the Minister of Social Services, 1994).  5.  In the 1970's, 4 0 % of all adopted children in B.C. w e r e aboriginal, a l t h o u g h a b o r i g i n a l p e o p l e m a d e up only 4 % of the g e n e r a l population, a n d in the 1980's, 3 0 % of all a d o p t e d children w e r e aboriginal, while only 5 % of the B.C. p o p u l a t i o n w a s a b o r i g i n a l (Report to the Minister of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s , 1994). In 1992, a moratorium w a s p l a c e d in B.C., o n the a d o p t i o n of First Nations children to n o n - a b o r i g i n a l homes. Moratoriums a l s o exist in other provinces of C a n a d a . T h e e x p e r i e n c e s of First Nations a d o p t e e s h a v e yet to b e d o c u m e n t e d in a n y formal writing. However, their e x p e r i e n c e s of s e a r c h a n d r e u n i o n m a y b e distinct from others' e x p e r i e n c e s . Most of the First Nations p e o p l e w e r e a d o p t e d into C a u c a s i a n f a m i l i e s a n d predominantly white communities a n d grew up without a n y c o n n e c t i o n to their First N a t i o n s heritage. F o r many, a reunion with their birth p a r e n t s m a y b e their first e x p e r i e n c e of the First Nations culture a n d traditions. However, b e c a u s e m a n y a b o r i g i n a l a d o p t e e s w e r e not adopted with their birth parents' consent, their birth relatives a n d N a t i v e community often c o n s i d e r s the r e u n i o n to b e "a h o m e coming." F o r m a n y adult adoptees, understanding the diversity b e t w e e n this n e w f o u n d culture a n d the "white" culture they grew up with a n d integrating the two into their s e n s e of self b e c o m e s a difficult a n d o v e r w h e l m i n g task ( L i z a b e t h Hall, 1996).  History of A d o p t i o n R e u n i o n s in British C o l u m b i a T h e current B.C. A d o p t i o n A c t w a s originally drafted in 1 9 2 0 (Report to the Minister of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s , 1994), a n d there h a v e b e e n over 50,000 a d o p t i o n s in B.C. s i n c e then. In most of t h e s e adoptions, adoption r e c o r d s a n d original birth registrations h a v e b e e n kept s e a l e d . O v e r the years, many a d o p t e e s in B.C., C a n a d a , a n d the rest of the world h a v e attempted to initiate s e a r c h e s for their birth f a m i l i e s w h o s e identities w e r e hidden. S e a r c h i n g h a s b e e n a difficult, if not impossible, task for most adoptees. In m a n y W e s t e r n countries, including C a n a d a , a n adoptee's original birth registration a n d a d o p t i o n file with information containing his or her birth name, a n d the n a m e s of  6.  his or her birth parents, is s e a l e d without a c c e s s . Therefore, the p e r s o n s e a r c h i n g often h a s no information, or at best very little information, o n w h i c h to b e g i n the search. A d o p t e e s a n d other m e m b e r s of the adoption circle a r o u n d the w o r l d h a v e l o b b i e d to c h a n g e legislation which maintains this practice.  S o m e countries have  effectively r e v i s e d their legislation s o that a d o p t e e s c a n h a v e limited a c c e s s to their records. F o r example, in England, a n adopted p e r s o n may request a n d o b t a i n a c o p y of h i s or her original birth registration, o n or after his or her 18th birthday ( R e g i s t r a r G e n e r a l , 1991). A l t h o u g h adoption practices h a v e b e e n under public scrutiny s i n c e their inception, the m o v e m e n t towards o p e n records in a d o p t i o n g a i n e d f o r c e a n d attention in the 1970's. A s a r e s p o n s e to p r e s s u r e from interested groups, legislators throughout C a n a d a h a v e b e e n examining the effects of reunions s i n c e at least the m i d 1970's. In 1975, the B e r g e r C o m m i s s i o n w a s e s t a b l i s h e d in British C o l u m b i a to e x a m i n e the legislation o n adoption. A t the time, the i s s u e of o p e n a d o p t i o n files w a s b e i n g e x a m i n e d throughout C a n a d a a n d the U n i t e d States, with m o r e a n d m o r e a d o p t e e s insisting that they h a d a constitutionally b a s e d civil right to a c c e s s to their s e a l e d birth records. T h e B.C. legislators e x a m i n e d the possibility of creating a registry w h e r e a d o p t e e s a n d birth parents c o u l d apply to b e reunited. S t e p h e n s o n (1975), of the University of British Columbia, w a s o n e of the first to d i s c u s s the c o n t r o v e r s y s u r r o u n d i n g o p e n r e c o r d s a n d reunions. S h e e x a m i n e d the limited literature o n the e x p e r i e n c e s of birth parents, adoptive parents, a n d adoptees.  The Berger Commission  did the s a m e a n d d e c i d e d against o p e n records a n d a n a d o p t i o n r e u n i o n registry in B.C. c o n c l u d i n g that it w o u l d not be beneficial to the parties i n v o l v e d (Berger, 1975). In the U n i t e d States, too, all but 4 states held strict policies o n p e r m a n e n t s e a l e d birth r e c o r d s at that time (Sorosky, B a r a n & Pannor, 1976).  7.  Attention to adoption and o p e n records continued to grow and, in 1988, the B.C. legislation w a s a g a i n reviewed. T h i s time, the legislators d e c i d e d to form what they c a l l e d a p a s s i v e registry. T h i s meant that birth parents a n d a d o p t e e s c o u l d apply and p l a c e their n a m e s on a registry. If and w h e n both parties registered, they w o u l d be m a t c h e d a n d reunited. T h i s registry resulted in few reunions. It is likely that o n e of the r e a s o n s for this is b e c a u s e advertisement of the adoption r e u n i o n s e r v i c e s h a s b e e n a c o n t i n u e d difficulty. T h e Report to the Minister of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s (1994) reports that a large n u m b e r of t h o s e who a d d r e s s e d their R e v i e w P a n e l h a d no k n o w l e d g e of the R e g i s t r y a n d the s e r v i c e s it offered. A d o p t e e s a n d c o n c e r n e d groups continued to lobby for o p e n r e c o r d s throughout the 1980's a n d into the 1990's; many a d o p t e e s b e l i e v e that they h a v e a right to the information in their adoption files (Report to the Minister of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s , 1994; S a c h d e v , 1989b; Lifton, 1979). In 1991, the A d o p t i o n A c t of B.C. w a s c h a n g e d to allow for a n active registry. T h r o u g h this registry, w h e r e birth parents a n d a d o p t e e s c a n a p p l y for a facilitated active s e a r c h and reunion. Other p r o v i n c e s and territories in C a n a d a h a v e a l s o a m e n d e d their legislation to a d d r e s s the i s s u e of o p e n records a n d reunions with birth families. B e c a u s e a d o p t i o n legislation is e n a c t e d independently by provincial governments, e a c h p r o v i n c e h a s different p o l i c i e s a n d practices regarding adoption reunions. F o r instance, s o m e p r o v i n c e s h a v e a p a s s i v e registry only, which requires that both interested parties a p p l y b e f o r e a r e u n i o n c a n take place. Other p r o v i n c e s h a v e semi-active registries w h i c h c o n d u c t s e a r c h e s on behalf of a d o p t e e s only. That is, birth parents a n d other birth relatives cannot apply for contact with the adoptee.  The resources and waiting  lists for t h e s e s e r v i c e s a l s o vary throughout the country. In addition to the government-funded provincial registries, there are a l s o nonprofit, volunteer organizations which exist throughout the country to support m e m b e r s of the a d o p t i o n circle. T h e Forget Me Not Family S o c i e t y a n d the T R I A D S o c i e t y for  8.  Truth in A d o p t i o n are two s u c h local organizations. T h e s e o r g a n i z a t i o n s h a v e b e e n active in reforming the adoption laws in C a n a d a and in s u p p o r t i n g a d o p t e e s , birth parents, a n d adoptive parents through s e a r c h and reunions. T h e T R I A D S o c i e t y is a national o r g a n i z a t i o n w h i c h provides a computerized registry, a s s i s t a n c e with s e a r c h a n d reunion, c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s and support groups, and a w a r e n e s s of a d o p t i o n through c o n f e r e n c e s and involvement with various committees a n d g o v e r n m e n t departments.  T h e Forget Me Not Family S o c i e t y is a local non-profit o r g a n i z a t i o n  w h i c h is a l s o committed to o p e n n e s s in adoption. T h r o u g h volunteers, they p r o v i d e information, support groups, conferences, and a d v o c a c y for all m e m b e r s of the a d o p t i o n circle. Both the T R I A D and Forget Me Not S o c i e t i e s h a v e w o r k e d hard to lobby g o v e r n m e n t s for c h a n g e s to the adoption legislation in B.C. a n d the rest of Canada. P r o v i n c i a l legislation o n adoption, a n d specifically o n a d o p t i o n d i s c l o s u r e , is u n d e r scrutiny in most a r e a s of C a n a d a . Currently, the A d o p t i o n A c t of B.C. is b e i n g revised. In January, 1993, the Ministry of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s e s t a b l i s h e d the A d o p t i o n L e g i s l a t i o n R e v i e w C o m m i t t e e to travel the province a n d hear s u b m i s s i o n s from interested parties regarding all a s p e c t s of the A d o p t i o n Act. In July, 1994, the committee submitted their report and 103 r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s to the H o n o u r a b l e J o y M c P h a i l , Minister of S o c i a l Services. T h e new adoption act w a s then written c o n s i d e r i n g t h e s e recommendations. It is expected that the new act, Bill 51, will be c o m i n g into effect in the fall of this year. A m o n g the c h a n g e s to the Act, s e c t i o n s 58 to 74 d e a l s p e c i f i c a l l y with o p e n n e s s of a d o p t i o n information and a c c e s s to adoption records. T h e A c t a l l o w birth parents a n d a d o p t e d p e r s o n s over the age of 19 to r e c e i v e the adoptee's original birth registration a n d adoption order, if no d i s c l o s u r e veto h a s b e e n filed by the other party. Birth parents a n d a d o p t e e s c a n a l s o apply for a s s i s t a n c e in c o n t a c t i n g e a c h other. In addition, if it is in the best interest of the child, adoptive parents of a n a b o r i g i n a l child  9.  u n d e r the a g e of 19 may a l s o r e c e i v e information on the child's First N a t i o n s b a n d and community. Likewise, a birth parent of an aboriginal child may  a l s o r e c e i v e identifying  information a n d contact the child, with the adoptive parents' consent. T h e s e c h a n g e s , and the c h a n g e s which allow for r e u n i o n s b e t w e e n birth parents a n d adoptees, h a v e undoubtedly b e e n b a s e d on the premise that r e u n i o n s are a g o o d thing, that they benefit all m e m b e r s of the adoption triad. M u c h of the literature o n a d o p t i o n d i s c l o s u r e a r g u e s that reunions benefit all m e m b e r s of the a d o p t i o n circle. F o r example, for birth parents, authors a r g u e that reunions a l l o w them to k n o w what h a s h a p p e n e d to the child they relinquished, to know the child w a s well a n d to find inner p e a c e or s o m e kind of h e a l i n g (Silverman, C a m p b e l l , Patti & Style, 1988); for a d o p t i v e parents, it is s u g g e s t e d that reunions r e l e a s e them from the s e c r e c y (Berry, 1991), a n d actually strengthen their relationship with their child ( S a c h d e v , 1992;  Baran,  Pannor, Sorosky, 1974; Rosensweig-Smith, 1988); a n d for adoptees, that r e u n i o n s i n c r e a s e their s e n s e of self-concept and identity (Baran, P a n n o r & S o r o s k y , S a c h d e v , 1992, 1989a; A u m e n d & Barrett, 1984; Depp, 1982; Dukette,  1974;  1984;  C a m p b e l l , S i l v e r m a n & Patti, 1991; A n d e r s o n , 1988, 1989; G l a d s t o n e & W e s t h u e s , 1992; Berry, 1991). T h e strength of these c o n c l u s i o n s is o p e n to debate, however, a s d i s c u s s e d below.  The  Problem  F r o m the list of s t u d i e s cited above, it is apparent that it is c o m m o n l y b e l i e v e d that r e u n i o n s benefit a d o p t e e s in forming a s e n s e of identity a n d i n c r e a s i n g their self concept. However, there is very little s o u n d r e s e a r c h that verifies this. B e c a u s e of the s e c r e c y s u r r o u n d i n g adoption, it has typically b e e n difficult for r e s e a r c h e r s to obtain participants who  h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d reunion. Therefore, there is v e r y little r e s e a r c h that  reports the effects of reunion on identity. Furthermore, r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e b e e n limited  10.  to s t u d i e s with small s a m p l e s i z e s or restricted to s a m p l e s from clinical  populations.  T h i s h a s m a d e g e n e r a l i z i n g to the general adoptive population very difficult. Nevertheless, almost all writing o n reunions, o p e n files, a n d o p e n a d o p t i o n s u p p o r t s t h e s e practices b e c a u s e there is a c o m m o n l y held belief that they will e n h a n c e the a d o p t e e s s e n s e of identity or self-concept. M a n y s t u d i e s h a v e reported that a d o p t e e s enter into a s e a r c h a n d reunion believing that it will r e s o l v e identity crises, or h e i g h t e n their self concept (Triseliotis, 1973). O t h e r s t u d i e s c l a i m that a d o p t e e s report a better s e n s e of identity after reunion (Sorosky, B a r a n & Pannor, 1975; Depp, 1982). In fact, c h a n g e s to the B.C. A d o p t i o n Act, a n d the p r a c t i c e s of t h o s e w h o work in the a r e a of a d o p t i o n s a n d reunions, a p p e a r to b e b a s e d o n this premise. T h e Report to the Minister of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s (1994) s u g g e s t s that " s e a l i n g a d o p t i o n r e c o r d s meant that a child's 'identity w a s stolen' ..." (p.26). Furthermore, the A d o p t i o n L e g i s l a t i o n R e v i e w Committee s u g g e s t s that "this kind of information c a n b e critical to s o m e a d o p t e e s at a d o l e s c e n c e w h o may h a v e trouble forming identities w h e n they lack information about their origins ... A c c e s s to records ... c o u l d help them deal with f e e l i n g s of rejection a n d form a complete picture of t h e m s e l v e s " (p.29). In spite of t h e s e claims, however, this premise h a s not b e e n clearly tested a n d e x a m i n e d ; it is treated a s fact without being clearly validated. F o r example, A n d e r s o n (1988) maintains that it is ridiculous to e v e n a s k about the motivations for search; that the r e a s o n s for "a compelling n e e d to know one's own story" are obvious. H e may be correct. However, not all a d o p t e e s h a v e the s a m e intensity of d e s i r e for information. S a c h d e v (1989b) f o u n d that while almost all a d o p t e e s in his study h a d s o m e curiosity about their birth parents, the d e s i r e to k n o w r a n g e d from fleeting interest or curiosity in s o m e a d o p t e e s to c o m p u l s i v e yearning in others. S o m e a d o p t e e s are only interested in l e a r n i n g about their g e n e o l o g i c a l background, while others are not content until they h a v e met their birth parents (Sachdev, 1989).  11.  T h i s researcher's experience, working with a d o p t e e s who a n d t h o s e who  h a v e initiated a s e a r c h  h a v e not, has b e e n that most a d o p t e e s admit to s o m e interest in  k n o w i n g about their birth parents and/or g e n e o l o g i c a l history, however, there are those a d o p t e e s that state they are not interested. E v e n a m o n g s t t h o s e that are interested, there are v a r i a t i o n s in how the p r o c e s s of acquiring and a s s i m i l a t i n g the information is handled. T h e amount of interest and the timing for w h e n they c h o o s e to a c q u i r e this information v a r i e s with e a c h adoptee. For example, s o m e a d o p t e e s are interested in only very limited and s p e c i f i c information w h i c h is non-identifying of their birth parents, w h i l e others d e s i r e to meet and d e v e l o p a relationship with their birth relatives.  The  rate and timing for acquiring this information is a l s o very individual. T h a t is, not all a d o p t e e s are ready for this information at the s a m e stage of life. F o r instance, more than one a d o p t e e has informed me that it wasn't until they w e r e in their forties that they felt r e a d y for a reunion. Others submit their a p p l i c a t i o n s for s e a r c h a s s o o n a s they turn nineteen, w h i c h is the minimum age in B.C.  R e g a r d i n g the rate for a c q u i r i n g the  information, s o m e a d o p t e e s and birth parents meet immediately u p o n r e c e i v i n g e a c h others non-identifying information and tell e a c h other everything about t h e m s e l v e s during their first contact. O t h e r s take a y e a r or more to meet a n d s h a r e only little bits of information at a time, b e c a u s e any more w o u l d be overwhelming. It s e e m s o b v i o u s that, a s individual's vary, s o too will their a p p r o a c h to a c q u i r i n g a n d a s s i m i l a t i n g this p e r s o n a l information.  Research Question  T h e question for this research, then, did not f o c u s on the motivations or m o d e for a c q u i r i n g birth history information. Rather, the p u r p o s e of this r e s e a r c h was to explore w h e t h e r having birth history information d o e s in fact c h a n g e one's s e n s e of identity. D o e s meeting a birth relative and learning g e n e o l o g i c a l information affect one's self-  12.  concept?  D o reunions uphold the expectations put forth by t h o s e r e c o m m e n d i n g  c h a n g e s to legislation?  M o r e specifically, this study attempted to a n s w e r the question,  "Do a d o p t i o n r e u n i o n s affect adult adoptee's self-concept?" T h i s q u e s t i o n n e e d s to b e clearly a n s w e r e d w h e n it forms the b a s i s for s u c h important e v e n t s that affect the lives of all m e m b e r s of the adoption circle.  Definition of T e r m s x_  Terms, s u c h a s "adoptee," "birth parent," "adoptive parent," a n d "birth relative" w e r e u s e d throughout this research. Although t h e s e terms are not ideal, they are the terms u s e d throughout the literature. Therefore, in the interest of maintaining c o n s i s t e n c y , t h e s e terms w e r e a l s o u s e d in this research.  Adoptee "Adoptee" w a s u s e d throughout this r e s e a r c h to m e a n a n adult person, o v e r the a g e of 19, w h o w a s legally adopted to a family outside of his or her birth family.  Birth P a r e n t  A "birth parent" is a birth mother or birth father w h o is the b i o l o g i c a l parent.  Reunion F o r the p u r p o s e s of this study, a p e r s o n w a s c o n s i d e r e d to h a v e h a d a r e u n i o n if he or s h e a c q u i r e d identifying information (ie. name, a d d r e s s and/or p h o n e number) a n d h a d m a d e direct contact with a birth relative. T h e contact c o u l d h a v e b e e n through letters, p h o n e calls, or in-person.  13  C H A P T E R II Literature R e v i e w  R e s e a r c h into the p h e n o m e n o n of adoption b e g a n in the 1950's a n d h a s b e e n on the i n c r e a s e within the last two decades. P a t o n (1954) a p p e a r s to h a v e initiated the r e s e a r c h o n adult adoptees; her study of forty adult a d o p t e e s w h o d e s c r i b e d their s e a r c h e s for their birth parents w a s the first of its kind ( A u m e n d & Barrett, 1984). In recent years, more a n d more attention h a s b e e n given to a d o p t i o n a n d its s p e c i f i c effects o n adoptees, birth parents a n d adoptive parents. A s r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e l e a r n e d m o r e about adoption, the quality of the r e s e a r c h h a s improved.  F o r instance, recent  r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e m o v e d from drawing their s a m p l e s from clinical p o p u l a t i o n s to u s i n g larger s a m p l e s of a d o p t e e s drawn from the g e n e r a l population. T h e y h a v e a l s o e x p a n d e d their f o c u s o n adoption to include all m e m b e r s of the a d o p t i o n circle a n d the v a r i o u s i s s u e s that affect them. Nevertheless, the r e s e a r c h literature o n t h e e x p e r i e n c e s of s e a r c h a n d reunion between birth parents a n d a d o p t e e s is still e x c e e d i n g l y limited. T h e most predominant clinical i s s u e d e s c r i b e d in the literature o n a d o p t i o n f o c u s e s o n identity a n d self concept in the adoptee. T h i s w a s a l s o the primary f o c u s of the p r e s e n t study, therefore, the following review d i s c u s s e s the r e s e a r c h that is pertinent to this a r e a of study. It e x a m i n e s r e s e a r c h on the influence of birth history on identity, r e s e a r c h c o m p a r i n g a d o p t e e s to nonadoptees, a n d r e s e a r c h o n r e u n i o n s a n d their effects o n identity a n d self concept. T h i s chapter a l s o d e s c r i b e s the d e v e l o p m e n t of the primary m e a s u r e u s e d in the current study, the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e ( T S C S ) , its definition of self concept, a n d s o m e relevant r e s e a r c h on this instrument. Prior to the d i s c u s s i o n of the literature on the T S C S a n d o n self-concept a n d identity in adoptees, this c h a p t e r will b e g i n by r e v i e w i n g the terms"self concept" a n d "identity" more generally. A review of the  14.  literature r e v e a l e d that there is m u c h ambiguity regarding t h e s e terms a n d their m e a n i n g s . Therefore, it m a y b e useful to briefly d i s c u s s the definition of self-concept a n d review relevant theories before proceeding to a review of the literature regarding the self-concept of adoptees.  Self C o n c e p t  R e v i e w i n g the literature o n self-concept is c o m p l i c a t e d by the fact that there is m u c h ambiguity in the literature regarding the definition of self-concept a n d how to m e a s u r e it. T h e term "self concept" is often u s e d i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y in the literature with the terms "self," "self-identity," "ego identity", a n d "identity." T h e r e d o e s not a p p e a r to be a n y c o n s e n s u s o n the differentiation of these terms a n d they s e e m to b e u s e d i n t e r c h a n g a b l y throughout the literature to refer to the s a m e p r o c e s s a n d p h e n o m e n a . In fact, s o m e of the literature d e v o t e d to the examination of identity admits that "there is an u n r e s o l v e d definition of identity" (Maxime, 1986, p. 101), a n d s o m e r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e c o m p l a i n e d about the w i d e disparity of terms a n d criteria e m p l o y e d in m e a s u r i n g self c o n c e p t (Fitts, 1972). T h e r e are varying definitions of self concept, but in o n e w a y or another, most refer to the self c o n c e p t a s the image or picture a p e r s o n h a s of himself or h e r s e l f (Maxime, 1986). O v e r the last f e w years, r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e b e g u n to turn their attention to d e v e l o p i n g a more p r e c i s e definition of what constitutes the self-concept. T h e e m e r g i n g v i e w is that self-concept is d y n a m i c a n d multidimensional, rather than u n i d i m e n s i o n a l a n d static. It is future oriented, a n d i n v o l v e s self-knowledge  about  one's g o a l s a n d motives, personal standards a n d values, a n d rules a n d s t r a t e g i e s for regulating a n d controlling one's behaviour (Nurius, 1986; W a y m e n t & Zetlin, 1989). A c c o r d i n g to this view, the self-concept d e v e l o p s "from a c o m p l e x interaction b e t w e e n the c a p a b i l i t i e s of the individual, the social environment in w h i c h self-evaluation occurs,  15.  and cognitive d e v e l o p m e n t w h i c h g o v e r n s the type a n d s c o p e of information p e o p l e c a n incorporate into their own self-definition at a n y o n e point in d e v e l o p m e n t " ( C o l e m a n , H e r z v e r g , & Morris, 1977, p. 26). M o s t t h e o r i e s of self c o n c e p t a g r e e that the p r o c e s s of self-concept d e v e l o p m e n t is n e v e r really completed; rather, it is actively proceeding from birth to death. B u r n s (1979) writes " the d e v e l o p m e n t of the self-concept d o e s not o c c u r in a n all-or-none f a s h i o n w h i c h permits us to s a y that up to o n e point in time [a person] d o e s not p o s s e s s a self-concept, but then suddenly, eureka-like, he [or she] has" (p. 149).  Erik E r i k s o n  a s s e r t s that "a s e n s e of identity ... is never gained nor maintained o n c e a n d for a l l . . . it is constantly lost a n d regained" (Erikson, 1959, p. 118). A c c o r d i n g to E r i k s o n (1959), "identity" refers to "a s e n s e of 'knowing w h e r e o n e is going,' a n d a n inner a s s u r e d n e s s of a n t i c i p a t e d recognition from those who count" (p 118).  It refers to the a c h i e v e m e n t  of a n inner c o h e s i v e n e s s a n d self-definition which requires the establishment of a feeling of c o n n e c t e d n e s s between one's past, present, a n d future a n d integration of the v a r i o u s a s c r i b e d a n d a c h i e v e d s o c i a l roles a n d skills (Stein & H o o p e s , 1985).  Relevant Theories Before d i s c u s s i n g the literature on the d e v e l o p m e n t of self-concept in adoptees, it may b e useful to review s o m e relevant theories in order to more fully u n d e r s t a n d the process. A s p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d , s o m e authors b e l i e v e that the d e v e l o p m e n t of identity a n d self-concept b e g i n s at birth a n d continues throughout the life c y c l e (Burns, 1979; Erikson, 1959). Erik E r i k s o n d e v e l o p e d a model w h i c h he maintains d e s c r i b e s the s t a g e s that p e o p l e g o through in d e v e l o p i n g a s e n s e of identity. O t h e r authors h a v e modified this model to apply to specific groups of people. F o r instance, C a r o l G i l l i g a n (1982) h a s d e v e l o p e d a model which s h e maintains is more a p p l i c a b l e to women, a n d Brodzinsky, S c h e c h t e r a n d H e n i g (1992) h a v e s u g g e s t e d additions to  16.  Erikson's m o d e l to m a k e it more a p p l i c a b l e to adoptees. T h e following s e c t i o n will b e g i n by d e s c r i b i n g Erikson's model a n d will then d i s c u s s the r e l e v a n c e of its s t a g e s to men a n d women, in general, a n d to p e o p l e who w e r e adopted. Erik Erikson's theory of identity development is p e r h a p s the most well-known m o d e l of identity development. E r i k s o n d e v e l o p e d a n e o - F r e u d i a n m o d e l of d e v e l o p m e n t w h i c h d e s c r i b e s the conflicts that p e o p l e f a c e at e a c h life s t a g e a n d the qualities that e m e r g e u p o n the resolution of t h e s e conflicts. T o E r i k s o n , identity b e g i n s to d e v e l o p at birth, intensifies at a d o l e s c e n c e , a n d p r o c e e d s throughout the lifespan. E a c h s t a g e of one's life involves p s y c h o l o g i c a l t a s k s w h i c h h a v e a n impact on the d e v e l o p m e n t of a s e n s e of self. In the first s t a g e of Erikson's model, infancy, the most important p s y c h o l o g i c a l task is the d e v e l o p m e n t of a s e n s e of trust. E r i k s o n (1950) states that "this forms the b a s i s in the c h i l d for a s e n s e of identity w h i c h will later c o m b i n e a s e n s e o f b e i n g 'all right', of b e i n g oneself, a n d of b e c o m i n g what other p e o p l e trust o n e will b e c o m e " (p. 249).  S u c c e s s f u l resolution of this task d e p e n d s on the child d e v e l o p i n g a s e n s e that  he or s h e c a n rely on his or her own b e h a v i o u r a s well a s that of the caregiver. Without this s e n s e of trust, a p e r s o n may grow up doubting his or her own self-worth a n d . d o u b t i n g the p e o p l e a r o u n d him or her. T h e t a s k s in the toddler a n d p r e s c h o o l s t a g e s are the d e v e l o p m e n t of a u t o n o m y v e r s u s s h a m e a n d doubt, a n d then initiative v e r s u s guilt. In order to d e v e l o p autonomy, a firmly d e v e l o p e d s e n s e of trust is necessary. T h e toddler must feel b a s i c faith in h i m s e l f or herself a n d in the w o r l d in order to take the risk of individuating a n d "standing o n his or her own feet" while a c c e p t i n g the limits a n d e x p e c t a t i o n s of others. If this s e n s e of a u t o m o n y is undermined by loss of self-control or parental over-control, E r i k s o n postulates that a lasting s e n s e of s h a m e a n d doubt in one's self is d e v e l o p e d . T h i s s e n s e of s h a m e a n d doubt will likely h a v e an effect on the d e v e l o p m e n t of initiative v e r s u s guilt in the next stage. If a child h a s d e v e l o p e d a r e a s o n a b l e s e n s e of  17.  autonomy, he or s h e is likely to take initative without a s e n s e of guilt or fear. However, if this task is not s u c c e s s f u l l y resolved, then he or she is likely to incorporate a s e n s e of guilt w h e n t a k i n g intitiative in t a s k s or relationships (Erikson, 1959). T h e fourth stage o c c u r s between the a g e s of six and twelve a n d the task is the d e v e l o p m e n t of industry v e r s u s inferiority. E r i k s o n (1968) maintains that at this stage, c h i l d r e n attach t h e m s e l v e s to role models, s u c h a s t e a c h e r s a n d other adults, a n d they want to w a t c h a n d imitate people representing o c c u p a t i o n s w h i c h they c a n a s p i r e to.  A  child b e g i n s "to be something of a worker and potential provider... learn to win recognition by producing things ... and c a n b e c o m e a n e a g e r a n d a b s o r b e d unit of a productive situation" (p. 124). T h e r e are s o m e risks to the d e v e l o p m e n t of identity at this stage, though.  F o r example, one might continue to c o m p a r e himself or herself to  his o r her parents if not s u c c e s s f u l l y individuated before e n t e r i n g this stage, a n d this might result in a s e n s e of inferiority rather than industry. A n o t h e r d a n g e r to the d e v e l o p i n g identity in this s t a g e that a n overly conforming c h i l d might a c c e p t b e i n g a g o o d w o r k e r a s the only criterion of worthwhileness, and might too e a s i l y sacrifice imagination, playfulness, a n d experimentation of all that he or s h e c o u l d b e (Erikson, 1959,  1968). T h i s s t a g e of the d e v e l o p m e n t of industry is an important s t a g e for the  d e v e l o p m e n t of one's s e n s e of s o c i a l worth b e c a u s e industry i n v o l v e s d o i n g things b e s i d e a n d with others (Erikson, 1959). A c c o r d i n g to E r i k s o n (1959), "with the e s t a b l i s h m e n t of a g o o d relationship to the world of skills a n d to t h o s e who t e a c h a n d s h a r e the new skills, c h i l d h o o d proper c o m e s to an end" (p. 89) a n d  adolescence  begins. T h i s s t a g e is the most significant for the d e v e l o p m e n t of identity, a n d often t a k e s m a n y years, if not forever, to resolve. E r i k s o n c o i n e d the term "identity c r i s i s " for the t a s k s i n v o l v e d in this stage. R e s o l u t i o n of this identity crisis i n v o l v e s integrating different a s p e c t s of the self with e a c h other over different points in time ( B r o d z i n s k y , S c h e c h t e r , & Henig, 1992)  O n e begins to focus on more abstract, moral a n d  18.  p h i l o s o p h i c a l questions, s u c h as "What is the m e a n i n g of life?" a n d more personally, "Who  am  I?," "Why  am I here?," and "Where am I g o i n g ? "  J a m e s M a r c i a , of S i m o n F r a s e r University in B.C., h a s p o s t u l a t e d four w a y s to r e s o l v e the "identity c r i s i s " identified by E r i k s o n (Brodzinsky, S c h e c h t e r , & Henig, 1992). Briefly, the first way is what M a r c i a calls "identity achievement."  This occurs  w h e n a p e r s o n c o n s c i o u s l y e v a l u a t e s his or her own belief s y s t e m by trying on different roles a n d incorporating moral, political, religious a n d i d e o l o g i c a l values. T h i s u s u a l l y d o e s not o c c u r until late a d o l e s c e n c e or early adulthood. T h e individual who  remains  in the identity crisis into adulthood and is unable to commit to a particular path is c o n s i d e r e d to be in "moratorium."  T h i s period is usually short-term a n d one will either  r e s o l v e the crisis a n d m o v e on to identity achievment or will m o v e to "identity diffusion." Identity diffusion may o c c u r w h e n a p e r s o n d o e s not identify with a nurturing figure, d o e s not e x p l o r e options, a n d is unsure of what he or s h e wants. If a n individual is u n a b l e to m a k e a commitment to a particular role a n d a p e r s o n a l l y r e l e v a n t set of moral values, he or s h e is s a i d to be "identity diffused." Alternatively, the fourth way in w h i c h the identity crisis may be r e s o l v e d is through "identity foreclosure." A c c o r d i n g to M a r c i a , identity f o r e c l o s e d individuals never really e x p e r i e n c e d a n identity crisis, yet they h a v e m a d e a commitment to a set of values, a c a r e e r path, or a role in life. T h e y look a s t h o u g h they h a v e a c h i e v e d a solid identity, but not by exploring who they are, but rather by falling into who it was always a s s u m e d they w o u l d be (Marcia, 1966; B r o d z i n s k y , Schechter, & Henig, 1992). T h i s p r o c e s s of identity achievement is d y n a m i c a n d continually e v o l v e s . A p e r s o n c a n be at one stage for one a s p e c t of their identity a n d at a n o t h e r for other a s p e c t s . However, E r i k s o n cautions that the e x p e r i e n c e s of a d o l e s c e n c e a n d the s t a g e of "identity c r i s i s " will affect the p s y c h o l o g i c a l t a s k s of the following s t a g e s of adulthood. T h a t is, in order for the final three s t a g e s of life, t h o s e of adulthood, a n d their c o r r e s p o n d i n g p s y c h o l o g i c a l t a s k s to be resolved, a p e r s o n must h a v e integrated  19.  a n d c o n s o l i d a t e d the t a s k s of the prior stages. For instance, the task in early a d u l t h o o d is "intimacy v e r s u s isolation." E r i k s o n states that "it is o n l y w h e n identity formation is well o n its way that true intimacy ... is p o s s i b l e " (Erikson, 1968, p 135). T h e t a s k s of "generativity" in middle adulthood a n d "ego integrity" in late a d u l t h o o d a r e a l s o d e p e n d e n t o n the s u c c e s s f u l resolution of the prior tasks.  In t h e s e last two  stages, p e o p l e f o c u s o n the p u r p o s e of their lives a n d what of t h e m s e l v e s they want to l e a v e behind. Then, by late adulthood, they reflect o n the e v e n t s of their life a n d c o m e to terms with the a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s a n d failures. M a n y of the i s s u e s that w e r e important at earlier stages, s u c h a s autonomy, identity, intimacy, a n d generativity, m a y b e c o m e important o n c e again. W h e n Erik E r i k s o n w a s himself in old age, he b e g a n to s e e the r e s o n a n c e s of the last stage of life. W h e n he w a s in his eighties, he refined his original m o d e l a n d s t a t e d that o l d a g e is not only about r e s o l v i n g the crisis of "ego identity v e r s u s d e s p a i r " but rather about revisiting every o n e of the conflicts that h a d b e e n e n c o u n t e r e d in earlier life. E r i k s o n maintained that "during old age, the prominant conflicts of every other s t a g e -- trust v e r s u s mistrust, autonomy v e r s u s s h a m e a n d doubt, initiative v e r s u s guilt, industry v e r s u s inferiority, identity v e r s u s confusion, intimacy v e r s u s isolation, a n d generativity v e r s u s stagnation -- occur o n e final time" (Brodzinsky, Schechter, & Henig, 1992, p. 166). S o m e r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e questioned whether men a n d w o m e n differ in self c o n c e p t a n d whether Erikson's stages apply to both genders. E r i k s o n (1968) himself a c k n o w l e d g e s that there may be s o m e differences in how m a l e s a n d f e m a l e s d e v e l o p their identity. A s a brief adjunct to his theory, he s u g g e s t s that the s e q u e n c e of the s t a g e s might b e a bit different for women; that for men, the r e s o l u t i o n of identity p r e c e d e s intimacy, but for women, the t a s k s of identity a n d intimacy are fused. T h a t is, he c o n t e n d s that the f e m a l e is oriented .towards her biologically b a s e d role of filling h e r "inner s p a c e " by b e c o m i n g a mother, a n d therefore, s h e c o m e s to k n o w h e r s e l f by h e r  20.  r e l a t i o n s h i p s with others, in particular, with her mate (Erikson, 1968). T h i s v i e w that w o m e n define t h e m s e l v e s in terms of motherhood and their r e l a t i o n s h i p s with m e n is n o w v i e w e d by m a n y a s archaic; however, it has acted a s a catalyst for the examinination of the self-concept of women. C a r o l G i l l i g a n (1982) has c h a l l e n g e d Erikson's s t a g e s a n d their applicability to women. S h e points out that despite Erikson's observation of g e n d e r differences, his m o d e l of the life-cycle s t a g e s has not b e e n r e v i s e d to b e more a p p l i c a b l e to women. G i l l i g a n a r g u e s that Erikson's model d o e s not apply to w o m e n b e c a u s e the m o d e l is b a s e d o n the c o n c e p t that identity is formed through individuation a n d autonomy. T h r o u g h her studies, s h e has c o n c l u d e d that w o m e n s e e the world " c o m p r i s e d of relationships rather than of p e o p l e standing alone, a world that c o h e r e s through h u m a n c o n n e c t i o n " (Gilligan, 1982, p. 29). Gilligan, therefore, postulates that w o m e n a s s u m e c o n n e c t i o n a n d d e v e l o p their s e n s e of self concept a n d identity b a s e d o n r e l a t i o n s h i p s a n d their attachment to others, while m e n a s s u m e separation, a n d e x p l o r e their identity t h r o u g h a u t o n o m y a n d individuation. T h i s difference b e t w e e n the g e n d e r s forms the c o r e for Gilligan's m o d e l of the f e m a l e life cycle. G i l l i g a n (1982) refers to N a n c y C h o d o r o w to e x p l a i n the d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n the genders. Briefly, C h o d o r o w s u g g e s t s that b e c a u s e the primary c a r e t a k e r until the a g e of three, for both s e x e s , is typically female, the interpersonal d y n a m i c s of g e n d e r identity formation are different for m a l e s and females. " F e m a l e identity formation takes p l a c e in a context of o n g o i n g relationship s i n c e 'mothers tend to e x p e r i e n c e their d a u g h t e r s a s more like, a n d continuous with, themselves'. C o r r e s p o n d i n g l y , girls, in identifying t h e m s e l v e s a s female, experience t h e m s e l v e s a s like their mothers, thus f u s i n g the e x p e r i e n c e of attachment with the p r o c e s s of identity formation.  In contrast,  'mothers e x p e r i e n c e their s o n s a s a male opposite', a n d boys, in defining t h e m s e l v e s a s masculine, s e p a r a t e their mothers from themselves' ... F o r boys, but not girls, i s s u e s of differentiation h a v e b e c o m e intertwined with s e x u a l i s s u e s ' " (Gilligan, 1982, p. 7-8).  21. T h i s theory of differences in identity b a s e d o n attachment a n d s e p a r a t i o n may h a v e s o m e s i g n i f i c a n c e for the formation of self-concept in adoptees.  It m a y b e that the  p r o c e s s of identity d e v e l o p m e n t b a s e d o n a relationship with a primary c a r e g i v e r may be different for p e o p l e w h o w e r e a d o p t e d than for t h o s e w h o w e r e not. T h e s t u d i e s a n d literature o n this are very scarce. Recently, Brodzinsky, S c h e c h t e r a n d H e n i g (1992) h a v e written a b o o k w h i c h e x a m i n e s theories of identity d e v e l o p m e n t a n d d i s c u s s e s their a p p l i c a t i o n to people w h o w e r e adopted. U s i n g Erikson's theory a s a b a s i c model, Brodzinsky, S c h e c h t e r a n d H e n i g (1992) s u g g e s t that the d e v e l o p m e n t of self concept is different for a d o p t e e s than for n o n a d o p t e e s . T h e y h a v e formulated a lifespan model of identity d e v e l o p m e n t in adoptees.  It s h o u l d be noted that this is a new model; o n e w h i c h the authors c l a i m w a s  b a s e d o n their "professional experiences, a c c u m u l a t e d over a c o m b i n e d total of fiftyfive y e a r s of clinical a n d r e s e a r c h work with a d o p t e e s a n d their f a m i l i e s " (p. 1). However, the authors do not indicate whether information for the m o d e l w a s c o l l e c t e d in a s y s t e m a t i c way, or how their e x p e r i e n c e s w e r e verified a n d o r g a n i z e d into this model. N e v e r t h e l e s s , B r o d z i n s k y et. al. (1992) h a v e introduced a novel a p p r o a c h to the e x a m i n a t i o n of identity d e v e l o p m e n t in a d o p t e e s w h i c h may b e worthy of further discussion. Basically, B r o d z i n s k y et. al. (1992) maintain that a d o p t e e s m o v e through the s a m e d e v e l o p m e n t a l t a s k s a s n o n a d o p t e e s but that doing s o c a n b e m o r e difficult for them. T h e y s u g g e s t that adoptees, in particular t h o s e w h o are p l a c e d in their adoptive h o m e s at a n early a g e (before the a g e of six months), u s u a l l y p r o g r e s s through the infancy a n d toddler s t a g e s in a m a n n e r similar to nonadoptees. T h e y form  attachments  a n d r e s o l v e the t a s k s of trust a n d autonomy in the s a m e w a y a s n o n a d o p t e e s . In fact, in a longitudinal study currently being conducted at S i m o n F r a s e r University, the r e s e a r c h e r e v a l u a t e d children w h o w e r e a d o p t e d from o r p h a n a g e s in R o m a n i a , e l e v e n m o n t h s a n d then a g a i n four y e a r s after they w e r e adopted. T h e y f o u n d no d i f f e r e n c e s  22.  in attachment b e t w e e n children who w e r e adopted before the age of four m o n t h s and their C a n a d i a n born n o n a d o p t e d peers (Ames, 1996). However, a c c o r d i n g to B r o d z i n s k y et. al. (1992), by p r e s c h o o l age, children who are a d o p t e d b e g i n to d e a l with i s s u e s related to their adoption. T h i s is often the a g e w h e n they may  b e g i n to  notice d i f f e r e n c e s in p h y s i c a l appearance, expecially in interracial adoptions, a n d typically w h e n they first learn about adoption. By middle childhood, they may  b e g i n to  d e v e l o p a more thorough understanding of adoption a n d its logical implications. At this stage, the child d e v e l o p s an internal mental representation or f a n t a s y of his or her birth p a r e n t s a n d might start to feel a s e n s e of loss for the parents a n d the family h e or s h e n e v e r knew. T h i s s e n s e of grief is usually more subtle for children who a r e a d o p t e d at a n early a g e t h a n for children who begin living with their a d o p t i v e f a m i l i e s after the a g e of s i x or eight months, after they had b e g u n to form attachments to others. A s the child b e g i n s to prepare for the i n d e p e n d e n c e a s s o c i a t e d with a d o l e s c e n c e , he or s h e b e g i n s to s e p a r a t e p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y from the family. In most families, this b e c o m e s a time of conflict. M o s t children e x p e r i e n c e what F r e u d c a l l e d the "family romance", w h e r e b y they fantasize that they w e r e secretly a d o p t e d a n d that they h a v e other parents somewhere. R e s o l u t i o n of this s t a g e is more difficult for a d o p t e d c h i l d r e n than for children who a r e r a i s e d with their b i o l o g i c a l parent, b e c a u s e the "fantasy" is largely true. "There is always a mythical 'other' set of parents out there who c a n h o l d on to their qualities of g o o d n e s s - allowing the c h i l d to c o n t i n u e investing the day-to-day parents with qualities of b a d n e s s " ( B r o d z i n s k y et. al, 1992, p 77).  On  the other hand, the a d o p t e e may entertain f a n t a s i e s that the birth parents p o s s e s s the b a d qualities, e s p e c i a l l y if they e x p e r i e n c e adoption a s a rejection from their birth parents a n d a r e s c u e by their adoptive parents. B r o d z i n s k y et. al. (1992) s u g g e s t that how a child v i e w s the relinquishment may s h a p e the family r o m a n c e f a n t a s i e s that he or s h e e x p e r i e n c e s .  23.  M i d d l e c h i l d h o o d is a l s o the time w h e n one b e g i n s to identify with role m o d e l s in order to r e s o l v e the task of industry v e r s u s inferiority. F o r most children, middle c h i l d h o o d a n d early a d o l e s c e n c e is a time w h e r e one is very s e l f - c o n s c i o u s about b e i n g "different" in any way.  Dr. David Kirk (1964) s u g g e s t s that at this time it b e c o m e s  very important to o p e n l y a c k n o w l e d g e the differences in the family rather than reject the d i f f e r e n c e s a n d pretend the family is like any other. In this way, the family is more likely to c r e a t e an environment w h e r e the a d o l e s c e n c e f e e l s s e c u r e to learn about himself or herself and experiment with "who  am I?"  During a d o l e s c e n c e , people who are adopted g r a p p l e with the s a m e q u e s t i o n s a s p e o p l e who are not adopted -- "Who  am  I?," "Why  am  I here?," a n d " W h e r e am I  g o i n g ? " However, adopted a d o l e s c e n t s must a l s o c o n s i d e r t h e s e q u e s t i o n s in relation to adoption. T h a t is, a c c o r d i n g to B r o d z i n s k y et. al (1992), a d o p t e e s who  successfully  r e s o l v e the task of identity a c h i e v e m e n t tend to be t h o s e w h o s e f a m i l i e s a l l o w them to d i s c u s s a d o p t i o n o p e n l y and positively, without limits, a n d support them in r e s o l v i n g how b e i n g a d o p t e d d o e s or d o e s not fit into a n overall s e n s e of themselves.  If a d o p t i o n  is d i s c u s s e d , but in a negative or unaccepting way, one w o u l d expect this to c a u s e a d d i t i o n a l difficulties for the adolescent. O n the other hand, a d o p t e e s who a r e in identity f o r e c l o s u r e usually do not explore the m e a n i n g of their a d o p t i o n a n d d e n y that it h a s any importance to them. T h e y tend to live in families w h e r e there h a s not b e e n m u c h d i s c u s s i o n about adoption and they may e x p e r i e n c e a strong s e n s e of identity as a m e m b e r of the family a n d commit to a n identity without e x p l o r i n g what it m e a n s to be adopted.  Initially, they may m a k e r e a s o n a b l y g o o d adjustments, but e v e n t s in later  a d u l t h o o d might c a u s e them to reexamine their s e n s e of self ( B r o d z i n s k y et. al, 1992). F o r m a n y people, adulthood is a time of examining life a n d life c h o i c e s .  The  t a s k s of a d u l t h o o d - intimacy, generativity, and ego integrity - d e m a n d that individuals c o n t i n u e to e x a m i n e and reexamine their identity or s e n s e of self. F o r adoptees, this might i n c l u d e the reexamination of i s s u e s related to adoption. A s p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d ,  24.  E r i k s o n maintains that identity requires the a c h i e v e m e n t of a n inner c o h e s i v e n e s s a n d self-definition w h i c h requires the establishment of a feeling of c o n n e c t e d n e s s b e t w e e n one's past, present, a n d future. Like nonadoptees, a d o p t e e s attempt to c o n s o l i d a t e their identity by reflecting o n the past in order to understand t h e m s e l v e s in the present a n d future ( B r o d z i n s k y et. al., 1992). However, unlike p e o p l e w h o w e r e r a i s e d with their b i o l o g i c a l families, most a d o p t e e s have limited information about their past a n d about their history. A c c o r d i n g to B r o d z i n s k y et. al. (1992), this is w h y s o m a n y a d o p t e e s feel cut off from a part of t h e m s e l v e s a n d feel discontinuity in their identity. F o r them, c o n s o l i d a t i n g their identity requires obtaining information, a n d c o n n e c t i n g with their history in order to understand t h e m s e l v e s a s a w h o l e p e r s o n in the present, future, a n d past. A review of the literature over the last two d e c a d e s i n d i c a t e d that there is a minimal a m o u n t of r e s e a r c h o n h o w a d o p t e e s c o n s o l i d a t e their identity in a d u l t h o o d a n d throughout the lifespan. B r o d z i n s k y et. al. (1992) s e e m to b e the first to m a k e a n y distinctions b e t w e e n people w h o were a d o p t e d a n d those that w e r e not a n d the p r o c e s s of identity development. Although self c o n c e p t a n d identity formation in a d o p t e e s is w i d e l y d i s c u s s e d in the literature, r e s e a r c h to this point has f o c u s e d o n e s t a b l i s h i n g whether or not there are a n y differences b e t w e e n a d o p t e e s a n d n o n a d o p t e e s in this respect. T h i s review will now turn to e x a m i n a t i o n of the relevant r e s e a r c h o n the self-concept of adoptees.  T h e Self-Concept of A d o p t e e s  Self-concept in a d o p t e e s is p e r h a p s the most c o m m o n l y d i s c u s s e d i s s u e in the literature o n adoption a n d it is a l s o o n e of the most controversial.  Some researchers  c l a i m that a d o p t e e s are more vulnerable than the g e n e r a l p o p u l a t i o n to identity conflicts (Sorosky, B a r a n & Pannor, 1975; Pannor, B a r a n & Sorosky, 1978; H o o p e s ,  25.  1990; Brodzinsky, 1987) and a d v o c a t e s of o p e n records a r g u e that not only do a d o p t e e s h a v e the right to information about their birth families, but they n e e d this information in order to e s t a b l i s h their true s e n s e of identity. O t h e r s maintain that although this information may  be important to adoptees, it is not n e c e s s a r y for forming  identity ( A u m e n d & Barrett, 1984). A majority of r e s e a r c h articles h a v e a r g u e d that a d o p t e e s s e e k information on their birth f a m i l i e s in order to e s t a b l i s h a more c o h e s i v e identity (Triseliotis,  1973;  S o r o s k y et. al, 1975; Day, 1979, cited in A u m e n d & Barrett, 1984; Depp, 1982; Dukette, 1984; A n d e r s e n , 1988, 1989; S a c h d e v , 1989a, 1989b, 1992). Triseliotis (1973) and S o r o s k y et. al. (1975) are two of the earliest studies on the effects of adoption  on  identity. F o r both of t h e s e studies, the authors interviewed adult a d o p t e e s and f o u n d that a d o p t e e s w e r e motivated to s e a r c h for r e a s o n s related to identity. After interviewing s e v e n t y adult adoptees, Triseliotis c o n c l u d e d that a t h e m e of "negative self image" d e s c r i b e d one of the r e a s o n s why a d o p t e e s s e a r c h e d for their birth parents. S o r o s k y et. al. (1975) interviewed fifty adult a d o p t e e s and birth parents and  reported  that m a n y a d o p t e e s c l a i m e d that the reunion had h e l p e d them r e s o l v e their identity conflicts. M o r e recently, a qualitative study c o n d u c t e d in Ontario interviewed  124  a d o p t e e s on what motivated them to s e a r c h (Sachdev, 1992). S a c h d e v c o n c l u d e d that "the motivation b e h i n d s e a r c h is largely the adoptee's intense identity a n d  genealogical  n e e d s ..." (p. 59) and "their compelling n e e d to attain a more c o h e s i v e identity" (p. 58). W r i t i n g about his own  p e r s o n a l r e a s o n s for searching, A n d e r s e n (1988) d i s c l o s e s that  he h a s "a c o m p e l l i n g n e e d to know [his] own  story" (p. 18). He c o n c l u d e s that  a d o p t e e s "search for roots, for connection, for identity" ( A n d e r s e n , 1989, p. 625). Not all a d o p t e e s h a v e the s a m e d e s i r e to search, though. W h i l e  approximately  two-thirds of the a p p l i c a t i o n s r e c e i v e d by the A d o p t i o n R e u n i o n R e g i s t r y in B.C.  are  from adult adoptees, one-third are from birth parents. S o m e of the a d o p t e e s c o n t a c t e d by the R e g i s t r y on behalf of the birth parents are not interested in a reunion.  The  26.  r e a s o n s t h e s e a d o p t e e s give for declining contact vary. S o m e s a y they a r e not p r e p a r e d yet, that this h a s not c o m e at a g o o d time for them. O t h e r s d e c l i n e contact b e c a u s e they b e l i e v e that it w o u l d disappoint their adoptive parents, a n d s o m e s a y that they are just not interested. How do these n o n s e a r c h i n g a d o p t e e s differ from t h o s e w h o h a v e a d e s i r e to s e a r c h a n d connect with their birth r e l a t i v e s ? A l t h o u g h s o m e early r e s e a r c h h a s s u g g e s t e d the n e e d for c o m p a r i n g s e a r c h e r s to n o n s e a r c h e r s (Triseliotis, 1973; Dukette, 1975; Smith, 1976), there are very f e w s t u d i e s that d o so. A u m e n d a n d Barrett (1984) c o n d u c t e d a study with to e x a m i n e w h e t h e r there w e r e a n y differences b e t w e e n s e a r c h i n g a n d n o n s e a r c h i n g  adoptees.  T h e y l o o k e d specifically for differences in self concepts, attitudes t o w a r d s adoptive parents, e x p e r i e n c e s of adoption, a n d d e s i r e for medical a n d p e r s o n a l information. U s i n g the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e (1965), they tested seventy-one a d o p t e e s w h o identified t h e m s e l v e s a s searchers, forty-nine a s n o n s e a r c h e r s , a n d e l e v e n w h o w e r e undecided.  T h e i r data indicated that there w e r e d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n the groups.  N o n s e a r c h e r s h a d l e s s c o n c e r n about their own b a c k g r o u n d s , h a d more positive attitudes towards their adoptive parents, a n d more positive self-concepts. O t h e r s t u d i e s h a v e e x a m i n e d the effects of adoption o n identity formation by c o m p a r i n g individuals who w e r e a d o p t e d to t h o s e who w e r e not a d o p t e d (Norvell & Guy, 1977; S i m m o n s , 1980; S t e i n & Hoopes, 1985). T h e s e s t u d i e s h a v e p r o d u c e d conflicting results. S i m m o n s (1980) found significant d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n a d o p t e e s a n d n o n a d o p t e e s o n twelve out of nineteen s c a l e s from three different p e r s o n a l i t y m e a s u r e s : the California P s y c h o l o g i c a l Inventory, the A d j e c t i v e s C h e c k l i s t , a n d the T e n n e s s e e S e l f C o n c e p t S c a l e . H e reported that a d o p t e e s w e r e l e s s well s o c i a l i z e d , t e n d e d to b e more impulsive a n d demanding, a n d h a d lower self esteem.  He  interpreted his results a s supporting the hypothesis that a d o p t e e s h a v e m o r e difficulty than n o n a d o p t e e s in forming a s e n s e of identity. N o r v e l l a n d G u y (1977) a n d S t e i n a n d H o o p e s (1985), o n the other hand, reported quite the opposite. U s i n g the B e r g e r Self  27.  C o n c e p t S c a l e , Norvell and Guy f o u n d no significant differences b e t w e e n a d o p t e d and n o n a d o p t e d individuals eighteen to twenty-five y e a r s of age.  T h e y c o n c l u d e d that  a d o p t i v e status a l o n e is not r e s p o n s i b l e for negative identity. S t e i n and Hoopes' (1985) study supported the findings of N o r v e l l and  Guy  (1977). T h e y u s e d the T a n Ego Identity S c a l e , the Offer S e l f Image Q u e s t i o n n a i r e , a S e m i s t r u c t u r e d Interview w h i c h they developed, to test fifty a d o l e s c e n t s who a d o p t e d and forty-one who  and  were  w e r e not. Their findings indicated no significant d i f f e r e n c e s  b e t w e e n the two groups. "More specifically, a d o p t e d subjects s h o w e d no deficits in functioning on m e a s u r e s of overall identity w h e n c o m p a r e d to their n o n a d o p t e d counterparts" (p. 34). In this study, the a d o p t e e s actually s c o r e d statistically higher than n o n a d o p t e e s on one of the measures, the T a n E g o Identity S c a l e . T h e S t e i n and H o o p e s study s u g g e s t s that a d o p t e e s may  not, in fact, be more v u l n e r a b l e to identity  conflicts, a s others h a v e suggested. T h e results of the aforementioned studies do not support the theoretical b a s e s often cited to justify o p e n records and reunions b e t w e e n a d o p t e e s a n d birth relatives. T h a t is, there is little c o n c l u s i v e e v i d e n c e that a d o p t e e s are more v u l n e r a b l e to s t r u g g l e s with identity formation, or that their s c o r e s on m e a s u r e s of self-concept differ from t h o s e of individuals who  w e r e not adopted. However, the r e a s o n s often cited in  support of o p e n records include i s s u e s related to identity and self-concept. In my  work  a s a c o u n s e l l o r at the A d o p t i o n R e u n i o n Registry, I c o m m o n l y h e a r d adult a d o p t e e s c l a i m that they felt there was "a part of them missing," or that they w e r e "trying to fill in the gaps," or s o m e s u c h statement implying that they n e e d e d to a c q u i r e more information about themselves, through contact with birth relatives, in order "to feel whole." T h e self-reports of a d o p t e e s overwhelmingly support the p r e m i s e that a d o p t i o n reunion h a v e a positive influence on identity (Depp, 1982; B a r a n et al., 1974;  Sachdev,  1992; Dukette, 1984; C a m p b e l l et al., 1991; A n d e r s e n , 1989; G l a d s t o n e a n d W e s t h u e s ,  28.  1992; Berry, 1991). S a c h d e v (1992) c o n d u c t e d a study that indicated that r e u n i o n s i n c r e a s e identity for adoptees.  S a c h d e v d e v e l o p e d a structured q u e s t i o n n a i r e w h i c h  he a d m i n i s t e r e d to 124 a d o p t e e s who h a d e x p e r i e n c e d a r e u n i o n six m o n t h s to four y e a r s prior. H e reports that 8 6 . 9 % of a d o p t e e s w e r e p l e a s e d to moderately  pleased  that they h a d met their birth mothers, while 9 3 . 9 % c l a i m e d they h a d no regrets. S a c h d e v writes that "almost all the a d o p t e e s ( 9 3 . 3 % ) h a d the u n i q u e e x p e r i e n c e of b e i n g a b l e to c o n n e c t t h e m s e l v e s for the first time with their g e n e r a t i o n line a n d to s h a r e p h y s i c a l r e s e m b l a n c e s a n d interests with s o m e o n e related by blood. T h i s e x p e r i e n c e contributed to a more c o h e s i v e identity" (p. 64). H e q u o t e s a n a d o p t e e w h o said, "It [reunion with birth mother] h a s given me a new identity for the first time in thirty years. I really k n o w who I am." (p. 64). L i k e S a c h d e v , other r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e a l s o reported statements m a d e by a d o p t e e s r e g a r d i n g the effects of reunion o n their identity. S t a t e m e n t s s u c h as, "I feel a s if a part of me w a s p l a c e d back inside me (like a p u z z l e ) " ( C a m p b e l l , S i l v e r m a n & Patti, 1991, p. 332), "My self image a n d self c o n f i d e n c e greatly i m p r o v e d " ( C a m p b e l l et. al., 1991, p. 332), a n d "... u p o n learning my family history, I n o w k n o w w h o I am" ( A n d e r s e n , 1989, p. 627), a r e p e r v a s i v e in the literature. B a s e d o n t h e s e types of r e s p o n s e s from adoptees, many studies h a v e c o n c l u d e d that r e u n i o n s d o provide information e s s e n t i a l to a d o p t e e s in forming identity. M o s t of t h e s e findings, however, were b a s e d o n the self-reports of adoptees, either through interviews or q u e s t i o n n a i r e s d e v e l o p e d by the r e s e a r c h e r s . S t u d i e s , s u c h a s D e p p (1982), S a c h d e v (1992), a n d Campbell, S i l v e r m a n a n d Patti (1991), for example, u s e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e s d e v e l o p e d by the researchers. T h e s e q u e s t i o n n a i r e s are not p u b l i s h e d with the study, nor are validity or reliability s c o r e s reported. It is very likely that t h e s e m e a s u r e s are not scientifically sound. It is difficult, therefore, to j u d g e the s i g n i f i c a n c e a n d generalizability of these studies. W h i l e t h e s e self reports a r e likely to b e h o n e s t indications of what these specific a d o p t e e s think a n d feel in  29.  r e s p o n s e to the questions posed, it w o u l d be irresponsible to g e n e r a l i z e to a larger population. It is p o s s i b l e that t h e s e self reports of a d o p t e e s c o u l d b e i n f l u e n c e d by v a r i o u s other factors. F o r example, these a d o p t e e s may be e x p e r i e n c i n g the effects of a selffulfilling prophecy. A n d e r s e n (1989) points out that t h e s e statements reflecting i n c r e a s e d identity "might in large part reflect the fact that t h e s e p e o p l e h a v e b e e n led to b e l i e v e that self-completion is what s h o u l d h a p p e n following reunion" (p. 629).  Another  factor w h i c h m a y a c c o u n t for adoptee's reports of i n c r e a s e d identity is a r e s p o n s e format c o m m o n l y known a s "faking good." That is, it may b e that the subjects in t h e s e s t u d i e s r e s p o n d e d in the w a y they believed w o u l d meet the researcher's expectations. P e r h a p s the q u e s t i o n n a i r e s w e r e so w o r d e d that it w a s apparent to the subjects what the r e s e a r c h e r w a s looking for. T h e s a m p l i n g p r o c e d u r e s of t h e s e studies m a y a l s o b e problematic.  B e c a u s e of  the lack of o p e n n e s s surrounding adoption reunions, r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e customarily b e e n restricted to drawing their s a m p l e s from lists of a d o p t e e s affiliated with specific, u s u a l l y grass-roots, organizations. T h e s e g r o u p s h a v e b e e n very active in lobbying for o p e n records, a n d generally, only those w h o a g r e e with this p r a c t i c e are affiliated with them. W h e n r e s e a r c h e r s draw s a m p l e s from t h e s e groups, then, they are drawing from a s e l e c t g r o u p with a s e l e c t bias. It is difficult to k n o w whether t h e s e g r o u p s d o in fact reflect the v i e w s of the greater population of adoptees. It w o u l d not b e a n overstatement to say that all supporters of adoption b e l i e v e that one's s e n s e of identity will benefit from the experience.  reunions  However, the  r e s e a r c h that tests this belief is limited at best. S o m e h a v e a r g u e d that the benefit to identity c o m e s gradually a s o n e m o v e s throughout the p r o c e s s of s e a r c h a n d reunion, that the benefit is in the process, not in the e n d result. A n d e r s e n (1989), for example, d i s t i n g u i s h e s b e t w e e n the medical model and the p s y c h o l o g i c a l m o d e l a n d p r o p o s e s people's expectations of the effects of reunion o n identity will d e p e n d o n w h i c h m o d e l  30.  they a d h e r e to. T h a t is, those who a d h e r e to the m e d i c a l m o d e l s e e s e a r c h a n d r e u n i o n a s s o m e extraneous event which will r e s o l v e or "cure" their identity i s s u e s for them. O n the other hand, a d o p t e e s who take the p s y c h o l o g i c a l model's a p p r o a c h s e e s e a r c h a n d r e u n i o n a s merely o n e step in a s e r i e s of many others; their g o a l is growth rather than cure. T h i s a p p r o a c h is consistent with models, s u c h a s Erikson's, that view identity a s something that is progressive, constantly c h a n g i n g a n d modifying. B e f o r e moving o n in this paper, it is n e c e s s a r y to point out o n c e a g a i n that the literature o n a d o p t i o n reunions is e x c e e d i n g l y limited a n d controversial. A d v o c a t e s of o p e n a d o p t i o n r e c o r d s c l a i m that a d o p t e e s h a v e a right to this information a n d n e e d this information in order to attain a c o h e s i v e s e n s e of identity. O t h e r s h a v e reported that a d o p t e e s are a b l e to d e v e l o p identities just a s well without this information. W i t h c h a n g e s b e i n g currently p r o p o s e d to the adoption legislation, k n o w l e d g e a n d r e s e a r c h in this a r e a is n e c e s s a r y now more than ever. T h i s study will attempt to a d d to the b o d y of r e s e a r c h cited a b o v e which contribute to k n o w l e d g e in the field of a d o p t i o n a n d reunions.  T h e T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e  T h i s study sought to a d d to the literature on adoption by m e a s u r i n g the selfc o n c e p t of a d o p t e e s u s i n g a s t a n d a r d i z e d m e a s u r e of self-concept. A s p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d , the definition of "self-concept" is quite a m b i g u o u s w h i c h m a k e s m e a s u r i n g it a difficult task. Nevertheless, various authors h a v e attempted to clarify "self-concept" a n d to d e v e l o p instruments to m e a s u r e it. O n e of the first authors to d o this w a s W i l l i a m H. Fitts. In 1966, he d e v e l o p e d the T e n n e s s e e S e l f - C o n c e p t S c a l e ( T S C S ) w h i c h c o n t i n u e s to be o n e of the most popular m e a s u r e s of self-concept (Archambault, 1991, cited in Buros, 1992). T h i s section will briefly review the literature o n the T S C S a s this w a s the s t a n d a r d i z e d m e a s u r e s e l e c t e d for u s e in the present study.  31.  Fitts (1972) v i e w e d self-concept as multidimensional, incorporating both an external a n d an internal frame of reference. He maintained that one's internal s e n s e of self is d e v e l o p e d by interaction and f e e d b a c k from the external world. T h a t is, Fitts' v i e w is that in order to d e v e l o p a s e n s e of self, a p e r s o n must r e c e i v e c o n t i n u i n g f e e d b a c k from the external world, and to obtain this feedback, one must be willing and a b l e to d i s c l o s e himself or herself to others (Fitts, 1972). T h i s v i e w of self-concept as multidimensional has r e c e i v e d i n c r e a s e d e m p i r i c a l support o v e r the last fifteen years. W a y m e n t and Zetlin (1989) state that it is this m o d e l of self-concept that has b e e n affirmed and reaffirmed by r e s e a r c h e r s  and  theorists. Fitts d e s i g n e d the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e to meet the d e m a n d for a m e a s u r e w h i c h o p e r a t i o n a l i z e d this multidimensional v i e w of self-concept. T h e  TSCS  provides m e a s u r e s for 14 b a s i c scores. The Total P o s i t i v e S c o r e reflects o v e r a l l selfconcept. T h e r e are a l s o eight s u b s c a l e s of self c o n c e p t (Identity, Self-Satisfaction, Behaviour, P h y s i c a l Self, Moral-Ethical Self, P e r s o n a l Self, Family Self, a n d S o c i a l Self) a n d five other s c a l e s w h i c h m e a s u r e variability and/or the validity of the r e s p o n s e s : the S e l f Criticism Scale, the Distribution of R e s p o n s e s , and the Variability S c a l e s ( i n c l u d i n g the Total Variability and C o l u m n a n d R o w  Variabilities).  T h e T S C S s c a l e s are o r g a n i z e d into a 5 X 3 matrix. T h e 5 vertical c o l u m n s d e s c r i b e s c a l e s of a n "external frame of reference" a n d the 3 h o r i z o n t a l rows c o n t a i n .scales of an "internal frame of reference." T h e "external" s c a l e s , w h i c h include P h y s i c a l Self, M o r a l - E t h i c a l Self, P e r s o n a l Self, Family Self, a n d S o c i a l Self, c o u l d be m a n i f e s t e d in relation to the 3 "internal" s c a l e s , Identity, Self-Satisfaction, a n d Behaviour. T h e derived self concept score is the sum  of the 90 items w h i c h represent  all of t h e s e a s p e c t s of self concept. T h e r e are an additional 10 items w h i c h are t a k e n from the L S c a l e of the M M P I and m a k e up the validity s c a l e , Self-Criticism. S o m e r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e q u e s t i o n e d the lack of empirical information about the structure and discriminant validity of the T S C S (Roffe, 1981, M a r s h & R i c h a r d s , 1988).  32.  M a r s h a n d R i c h a r d s (1988) report extensive data from a n a l y s e s c o n d u c t e d to e x a m i n e the internal structure a n d construct validity of the T S C S s c a l e s . T h e y f o u n d consistent support for three of the s c a l e s (Family, S o c i a l a n d P h y s i c a l ) but l e s s c o n s i s t e n t support for the other s c a l e s . T h e y maintain that the T S C S is a n important instrument b e c a u s e it w a s the first to e m p h a s i z e the multiple d i m e n s i o n s of self c o n c e p t a n d b e c a u s e of its heuristic value; however, they infer that it is not a strong instrument w h e n j u d g e d by today's test s t a n d a r d s b e c a u s e , although the T S C S w a s d e s i g n e d to b e multidimensional, multidimensional statistical p r o c e d u r e s w e r e apparently not u s e d in its construction a n d s e l e c t i o n of items. M a r s h & R i c h a r d s (1988) s u g g e s t that the items be u p d a t e d a n d refined. Originally, Fitts d e v e l o p e d norms for the T S C S b a s e d o n a s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n g r o u p of 6 2 6 A m e r i c a n participants, ranging in a g e from 12 to 68. A c c o r d i n g to the T S C S manual, this group w a s c o m p o s e d of "an approximate b a l a n c e of m a l e s a n d f e m a l e s , b l a c k s a n d whites, representatives of all social, e c o n o m i c , a n d intellectual levels, a n d e d u c a t i o n a l l e v e l s from the sixth g r a d e level through the doctoral level" ( R o i d & Fitts, 1988, p.56). B a s e d on testing a n d data collection in the U.S., Fitts maintained that this norm group w a s representative a n d that individual n o r m s for d i f f e r e n c e s related to ethnicity, gender, age, a n d s o c i o e c o n o m i c status w e r e not necessary.  T h e T S C S m a n u a l reports the findings of s o m e s u b s e q u e n t s t u d i e s w h i c h  g e n e r a l l y support Fitt's contention that separate norms are not n e c e s s a r y ( R o i d & Fitts, 1988). However, critics of the m e a s u r e h a v e a r g u e d that the n o r m s o v e r r e p r e s e n t c o l l e g e students, p e r s o n s under the a g e of 30 a n d C a u c a s i a n s a n d may not b e useful for all g r o u p s of p e o p l e (Archambault, 1991 in Buros, 1992). For example, H o f f m a n a n d G e l l e n (1984) u s e d a d a t a b a s e a c c u m u l a t e d over a twelve y e a r p e r i o d to c o m p a r e the n o r m s to s c o r e s derived for various a g e levels, ethnic g r o u p s a n d both genders. B a s e d o n a s a m p l e of 7 4 3 adults enrolled in graduate c l a s s e s at a F l o r i d a university  33.  b e t w e e n 1971 a n d 1982, they c o n c l u d e d that it may b e inappropriate to u s e t h e s e n o r m s a c r o s s different groups. G a d z e l l a a n d W i l l i a m s o n (1984) report d i f f e r e n c e s in s c o r e s b e t w e e n men a n d w o m e n on T S C S s c a l e s . T h e y reported that w o m e n s c o r e d significantly higher o n 7 of the 9 s u b s c a l e s a n d o n the T o t a l S c o r e . However, it s h o u l d be n o t e d that G a d z e l l a a n d Williamson's (1984) study w a s b a s e d o n a very s m a l l sample, 19 m e n a n d 6 9 women, a n d the authors caution that further s t u d i e s with a larger s a m p l e of men are needed. S h a r p l e y a n d Hattie (1983) a l s o q u e s t i o n e d the generalizability of the T S C S norms a c r o s s g e n d e r s a n d a c r o s s cultures. T h e i r study w a s b a s e d o n a s a m p l e of A u s t r a l i a n undergraduate c o l l e g e students, a g e d 2 3 to 54. T h e i r f i n d i n g s indicated significant difference between the group of 101 m e n a n d the g r o u p of 101 w o m e n a n d a l s o between the A u s t r a l i a n s a m p l e a n d the T S C S norms. S h a r p l e y a n d Hattie (1983) c o n c l u d e d that applicability of the T S C S n o r m s a c r o s s cultures is not justified a n d that a c r o s s g e n d e r s is questionable. A review of the literature did not indicate a n y studies o n the T S C S b a s e d o n a C a n a d i a n s a m p l e group. A l t h o u g h s o m e may a r g u e that the v a r i a n c e s b e t w e e n C a n a d i a n s a n d A m e r i c a n s are too small to m a k e this a n issue, others w o u l d d i s a g r e e and c o n t e n d that there are distinct differences b e t w e e n C a n a d i a n s a n d A m e r i c a n s that w o u l d warrant verification of generalizability of the T S C S norms. F o r instance, o n e of the most primary c o n c e r n s for this study w a s using the T S C S with First N a t i o n s participants a n d the applicability of the reported norms to a b o r i g i n a l people. T h e T S C S m a n u a l (1988) reports a study by B o g n a r (1981) c o n d u c t e d in four a b o r i g i n a l c o m m u n i t i e s in Labrador. H e found that the True/False Ratio w a s quite e l e v a t e d in all four s a m p l e s a n d c o n c l u d e d that the T S C S s h o u l d b e u s e d c a u t i o u s l y with First N a t i o n s people. Until more c o n c l u s i v e e v i d e n c e is attained supporting T S C S n o r m s a c r o s s different cultures, ethnicities a n d genders, g e n e r a l i z i n g b a s e d o n t h e s e n o r m s s h o u l d b e d o n e selectively a n d carefully.  34.  In light of the a b o v e c o n c e r n s regarding generalizability of the T S C S , o n e might q u e s t i o n if the T S C S w a s the most appropriate instrument for this study. A m o n g s t selfc o n c e p t m e a s u r e s , the T S C S w a s d e e m e d the best c h o i c e a n d w a s s e l e c t e d for this study for v a r i o u s reasons: First, the T S C S is c o n s i d e r e d o n e of the most p o p u l a r tests of self c o n c e p t (Archambault, 1991 in Buros, 1992). V a r i o u s s t u d i e s o n self c o n c e p t h a v e u s e d this m e a s u r e a n d it h a s a l s o b e e n u s e d by r e s e a r c h e r s in e x a m i n i n g the self c o n c e p t of adult adoptees.  In particular, the T S C S w a s c h o s e n b e c a u s e it w a s u s e d by  A u m e n d a n d Barrett (1984) a n d S i m m o n s (1980) in their r e s p e c t i v e studies; by u s i n g the s a m e measure, it b e c a m e p o s s i b l e to more directly c o m p a r e the results of this study to this previous research. S e c o n d , the T S C S is g e a r e d towards the multiple d i m e n s i o n s of self-concept a n d i n c l u d e s a s u b s c a l e o n F a m i l y self. T h i s s c a l e h a s b e e n f o u n d to h a v e high construct validity ( M a r s h & R i c h a r d s , 1988) a n d in relation to other instruments on self concept, the T S C S stands out o n this aspect.  Because  a d o p t i o n is in large part about the self in relation to "family," it w a s d e s i r a b l e to u s e a m e a s u r e w h i c h i n c l u d e d items about family. T h e third r e a s o n for the s e l e c t i o n of the T S C S w a s that the test c a n b e easily self-administered within 10 to 2 0 minutes.  This  m a d e it c o n d u c i v e to the mailout strategy w h i c h w a s employed. A n d finally, the T S C S w a s s e l e c t e d a m o n g s t other instruments b e c a u s e of its reported validity a n d reliability. Test-retest reliabilities for the T S C S Total S c o r e are typically about .90, a n d the T o t a l S c o r e h a s b e e n f o u n d to correlate with other self-concept instruments, i n c l u d i n g t h e Coopersmith  S e l f - E s t e e m Inventory, a n d the Piers-Harris Children's S e l f - C o n c e p t  S c a l e (Dowd, in Buros, 1992; R o i d & Fitts, 1988).  R a t i o n a l e for this Study  A s p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d , supporters of o p e n adoption r e c o r d s a r g u e that k n o w l e d g e of one's biological history constitutes a n innate h u m a n need, a n d that d e n i a l  35.  of that n e e d l e a d s to emotional difficulties, especially in the a r e a of identity formation (Curtis, 1986; Sorosky, B a r a n & Pannor, 1975; Lifton, 1979). S o m e r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e reported that a d o p t e e s h a v e difficulties that are unique to them a n d not s h a r e d by individuals that g r o w up with birth families (Schechter, in Lifton, 1979) a n d that a d o p t e e s m a k e up a disproportionate number of p e o p l e in residential treatment centers a n d clinic populations (Lifton, 1979). A l t h o u g h there is no c o n s e n s u s o n this a n d s o m e findings h a v e refuted t h e s e claims (Kadushin, cited in Curtis, 1986; H o o p e s , 1982, in S t e i n & H o o p e s , 1985), c h a n g e s to the B.C. A d o p t i o n Act are b a s e d o n this belief. T h e legislation is m o v i n g towards o p e n records b e c a u s e "... this kind of information c a n be critical to s o m e a d o p t e e s at a d o l e s c e n c e w h o may h a v e trouble forming identities w h e n they lack information about their origins" (Report to the Minister of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s , 1994, p. 29). S t a t e m e n t s in provincial reports s u c h a s that cited a b o v e s u g g e s t that c h a n g e s to the adoption legislation are b a s e d o n the premise that information o n birth history is important for a d o p t e e s in d e v e l o p i n g a s e n s e of identity. In fact, theories o n identity maintain that history is important for identity formation. Erikson's theory of identity formation, for instance, maintains that the "individual organism, from birth, h a s a history that is a l w a y s interacting with the present moment" (Wright, 1982, p. xiii). S o m e s t u d i e s h a v e argued, though, that a d o p t e e s are a b l e to d e v e l o p a s e n s e of identity without information o n their birth families (Stein & Hoopes, 1985) T h i s h a s led s o m e to postulate that the p r o c e s s of identity formation may b e different for a d o p t e e s than for n o n a d o p t e e s (Hoopes, 1990; Simmons, 1980). If this is the c a s e , t h e n identity t h e o r i e s s u c h a s Erikson's, will h a v e to be modified to apply to adoptees. T h e primary a i m of this r e s e a r c h w a s to c o m p a r e the self-concept s c o r e s of a d o p t e e s w h o h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion with those w h o are awaiting a reunion. T h e c o n c e p t u a l rationale for this study w a s that a d o p t e e s w h o s e a r c h for birth relatives do s o for r e a s o n s related to their identity w h i c h w o u l d be reflected in the T S C S scores. It  36.  w a s e x p e c t e d that reunions with birth relatives w o u l d a n s w e r q u e s t i o n s , p r o v i d e information a n d r e s o l v e i s s u e s affecting their self concept. C o m p a r i n g the self concept of a d o p t e e s who  had e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion with t h o s e who w e r e still s e a r c h i n g w a s  a  m e t h o d of e x a m i n i n g whether reunions do in fact uphold t h e s e expectations. If a d o p t e e s who e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion s c o r e d significantly higher on the T S C S , this w o u l d be c o n s i s t e n t with the premise that reunions e n h a n c e the adoptees' s e n s e of self concept. Alternatively, this might be contradicted if a d o p t e e s who r e u n i o n did not s c o r e any differently than those who  h a v e not h a d a  h a v e h a d a reunion.  Furthermore,  if adoptees' s c o r e s on the T S C S are within normal r a n g e of the g e n e r a l population's, it may  be that birth history information is not a s important to identity a s is c o m m o n l y  believed. It may  be that those who  lack this information c o m p e n s a t e for it with other  means, a n d d e v e l o p their identity through a modified process.  Hypotheses  T h e following h y p o t h e s e s were tested in this study:  H y p o t h e s i s 1. H1:  A d o p t e e s who h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d a r e u n i o n with a birth relative ( G r o u p 1) will s c o r e more positively on the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e than t h o s e a d o p t e e s who are s e a r c h i n g but h a v e not e x p e r i e n c e d a r e u n i o n with a birth relative ( G r o u p 2).  HO:  A d o p t e e s who  h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion with a birth relative ( G r o u p 1)  will not s c o r e more positively on the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e than t h o s e a d o p t e e s who are s e a r c h i n g but h a v e not e x p e r i e n c e d a r e u n i o n with a birth relative ( G r o u p 2).  37.  H y p o t h e s i s 2. H2:  A d o p t e e s who initiated the s e a r c h for their birth relative(s) ( G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2) will s c o r e lower on the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e than t h o s e a d o p t e e s who d i d not initiate the s e a r c h for their birth relative(s) ( G r o u p 3 a n d G r o u p 4).  HO:  A d o p t e e s w h o initiated the s e a r c h for their birth relative(s) ( G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2) will not s c o r e lower on the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e than t h o s e a d o p t e e s who did not initiate the s e a r c h for their birth relative(s) ( G r o u p 3 a n d G r o u p 4).  H y p o t h e s i s 3. H3:  A d o p t e e s who report that their h o p e s a n d e x p e c t a t i o n s for the s e a r c h a n d reunion w e r e satisfied, or very satisfied, will s c o r e more positively o n the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e than those a d o p t e e s w h o report mixed, dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.  HO:  A d o p t e e s w h o report that their h o p e s a n d e x p e c t a t i o n s for the s e a r c h a n d reunion w e r e satisfied, or very satisfied, will not s c o r e more positively o n the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e than t h o s e a d o p t e e s w h o report mixed, dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.  H y p o t h e s i s 4. H4:  A d o p t e e s who report that their h o p e s a n d e x p e c t a t i o n s for the s e a r c h a n d reunion w e r e satisfied, or very satisfied will report a positive effect o n their s e n s e of self c o n c e p t or identity.  HO:  A d o p t e e s who report that their h o p e s a n d e x p e c t a t i o n s for the s e a r c h a n d reunion w e r e satisfied, or very satisfied will not report a positive effect on their s e n s e of self c o n c e p t or identity.  38.  H y p o t h e s i s 5. H5:  A d o p t e e s who  report a positive effect on their s e n s e of self c o n c e p t or  identity will s c o r e higher on the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e than those who report a negative effect or no effect. HO:  A d o p t e e s who  report a positive effect on their s e n s e of self c o n c e p t or  identity will not s c o r e higher on the T e n n e s s e e S e l f C o n c e p t S c a l e than t h o s e who  report a negative effect or no effect.  39.  C H A P T E R III Method  Design  T h i s study e m p l o y e d a quasi-experimental d e s i g n u s i n g naturally o c c u r i n g g r o u p s to e x a m i n e the relationship between the two constructs of self c o n c e p t a n d a d o p t i o n reunion. T h e study w a s d e s i g n e d a s quantitative r e s e a r c h a n d its p u r p o s e w a s to e x a m i n e the p o s s i b l e effect of adoption reunions (the i n d e p e n d e n t variable) o n the self c o n c e p t of adult a d o p t e e s (the d e p e n d e n t variable) a s m e a s u r e d by the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e ( T S C S ) . T h e study c o m p a r e d the s c o r e s of a d o p t e e s w h o initated a s e a r c h for, a n d e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion with, a birth parent or other birth relative ( G r o u p 1: s e a r c h e r s , post-reunion group) with those w h o have initiated a s e a r c h but h a v e not h a d a reunion ( G r o u p 2: s e a r c h e r s , pre-reunion group). In addition, the study w a s d e s i g n e d to c o m p a r e the s c o r e s of t h e s e two g r o u p s of s e a r c h i n g a d o p t e e s with the s c o r e s of a d o p t e e s w h o h a d not inititated a s e a r c h for a birth relative. G r o u p 3 ( n o n s e a r c h e r s , post-reunion group) c o n s i s t e d of a d o p t e e s who did not initiate a s e a r c h for a birth relative, but did enter into a reunion w h e n a birth relative s e a r c h e d for a n d c o n t a c t e d them. T h e final group c o n s i s t e d of a d o p t e e s w h o h a v e not s e a r c h e d , nor h a v e they h a d contact with a birth relative ( G r o u p 4: nonsearchers, pre-reunion group).  Procedure  S t u d i e s o n adoption h a v e typically turned to local a d o p t i o n o r g a n i z a t i o n s for a s s i s t a n c e in c o n t a c t i n g study participants. T h i s study did the same. Originally, this r e s e a r c h e r h a d p l a n n e d to contact a d o p t e e s for the study through the B.C. A d o p t i o n  40.  R e u n i o n Registry. However, the Registry w a s not r e s p o n s i v e to the r e s e a r c h a n d c h o s e not to participate. T w o other local organizations w e r e then a p p r o a c h e d a n d informed of this research. Both the Forget M e Not Family S o c i e t y a n d the T R I A D S o c i e t y v o l u n t e e r e d to assist with the research. T h e Forget M e Not Family S o c i e t y a n d the T R I A D S o c i e t y maintain a mailing list of their members. B e c a u s e of the sensitivity of the topic, it w a s a priority that participants' p r i v a c y a n d anonymity b e protected, s o at n o point d i d this r e s e a r c h e r h a v e a c c e s s to the mailing lists. Instead, the questionnaire p a c k a g e s w e r e p r e p a r e d a n d f o r w a r d e d to the presidents of the two societies, w h o then a d d r e s s e d the e n v e l o p e s to their r e s p e c t i v e members, a n d mailed the p a c k a g e s . T h e c o m p l e t e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e s w e r e a n o n y m o u s l y returned directly to the C o u n s e l l i n g P s y c h o l o g y D e p a r t m e n t at U.B.C. T h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e p a c k a g e s w e r e mailed in mid-November, 1995, a n d w e r e c o m p l e t e d by participants, returned to U.B.C. a n d c o l l e c t e d b e t w e e n D e c e m b e r , 1 9 9 5 a n d February, 1996.  E a c h p a c k a g e included a s e l f - a d d r e s s e d a n d s t a m p e d envelope,  a n d a letter of introduction (see A p p e n d i x A), a b a c k g r o u n d q u e s t i o n n a i r e ( s e e A p p e n d i x B), a n d a reprinted copy, with permission, of the T e n n e s s e e S e l f C o n c e p t S c a l e ( s e e A p p e n d i x C). T h e introductory letter e x p l a i n e d the p u r p o s e of the study a n d h o w the p a c k a g e h a d b e e n sent to participants. It a l s o s t r e s s e d that the q u e s t i o n n a i r e s w e r e to b e c o m p l e t e d a n d returned anonymously. Participants w e r e a s k e d to c o m p l e t e the q u e s t i o n n a i r e s a n d return them within two weeks. T h e y w e r e a l s o invited to write to the r e s e a r c h e r by a separate letter if they w i s h e d to r e c e i v e a s u m m a r y of the study o n c e completed. Approximately  1 0 % of p e o p l e w h o r e c e i v e d the q u e s t i o n n a i r e  p a c k a g e wrote requesting a s u m m a r y of the results.  41.  Participants  P a r t i c i p a n t s w e r e contacted through the Forget M e Not F a m i l y Society, a n d the T R I A D Society. A l l participants w e r e a d o p t e e s who w e r e r e g i s t e r e d m e m b e r s of o n e of t h e s e B.C. organizations. T h e majority of the Forget-Me-Not F a m i l y Society's a n d the T R I A D Society's m e m b e r s reside a c r o s s C a n a d a , although they a l s o h a v e m e m b e r s w h o live in the U.S. a n d abroad. A total of 2 9 9 questionnaire p a c k a g e s w e r e sent to m e m b e r s of the two organizations living in C a n a d a or the U.S. Of these, 166 w e r e c o m p l e t e d a n d returned by participants, resulting in a r e s p o n s e rate of 5 5 . 5 % . Of the 166 returned questionnaires, 7 w e r e not included in the study b e c a u s e participants h a d not sufficiently c o m p l e t e d the questionnaires. Therefore, the study i n c l u d e d c o m p l e t e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e s from a total of 159 participants, 9 5 % of w h i c h lived in C a n a d a , a n d 5 % in the U.S. T h e study population w a s a heterogeneous, self-selected group. T h a t is, all m e m b e r s of the T R I A D S o c i e t y or the Forget M e Not Family S o c i e t y w h o w e r e a d o p t e e s o v e r the a g e of nineteen w e r e contacted by mail a n d a s k e d to participate in the study. B e c a u s e all participants of the study w e r e volunteers w h o b e l o n g e d to either one of t h e s e local organizations, the possibility of a s a m p l i n g bias exists.  Rosenthal  a n d R o s n o w (cited in B o r g & Gall, 1989) h a v e s u g g e s t e d that p e o p l e w h o volunteer for s t u d i e s m a y p o s s e s s characteristics different than t h o s e of nonvolunteers.  These  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s may h a v e a n influence o n the results of the study a n d the results may not g e n e r a l i z e to the population from w h i c h the s a m p l e w a s drawn. In addition, the p e o p l e w h o c h o s e to b e m e m b e r s of these organizations may a l s o b e distinct from p e o p l e w h o are not members. For t h e s e two reasons, the results m a y b e b i a s e d a n d may not g e n e r a l i z e to the larger population of adoptees. T h e relatively high r e s p o n s e rate for this study ( 5 5 . 5 % ) i n c r e a s e s the confidence that the s a m p l e g r o u p s a r e representative of the population of a d o p t e e s that are m e m b e r s of t h e s e two  42.  organizations; however, there is no indication of the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e n e s s of t h e s e m e m b e r s to the more g e n e r a l population of adoptees.  T h i s is a limitation of this study  a s it h a s a l s o b e e n of most of the previous r e s e a r c h o n adoption ( S a c h d e v , 1992). T h e o v e r w h e l m i n g majority of a d o p t e e s w h o r e s p o n d e d to the study w e r e p e o p l e w h o identified t h e m s e l v e s a s s e a r c h e r s (93.1%) w h o h a d either a l r e a d y c o m p l e t e d a s e a r c h or w e r e in the p r o c e s s of searching. T h e d e m o g r a p h i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the 159 a d o p t e e s w h o participated in the study are p r e s e n t e d in T a b l e 3.1. Table 3.1 Characteristics of the Study Population (N=159) Characteristic  Freq.  %  Cum %  Reunion Group Group 1:  Group 2:  Group 3:  Group 4:  Completed a search and had contact with a birth relative  79  49.7  49.7  In the process of searching and have not had contact with a birth relative  69  43.4  93.1  Did not search, but a birth relative searched for them and they have had contact  6  3.8  96.9  Did not search and have not had contact with a birth relative  5  3.1  100%  159  100%  Gender Response ommitted Male Female  3  1.9  1.9  32  20.1  22.0  124  78.0  100%  159  100% (table continues)  43.  Freq.  %  19 to 24  12  7.5  7.5  25 to 29  42  26.4  34.0  30 to 39  51  32.1  66.0  40 to 49  33  20.8  86.8  50 to 59  16  10.1  96.9  5  3.1  Characteristic  Cum %  Age  60 or over  159  100%  100%  Education level 1  0.6  0.6  Some high school or completed high school  38  23.9  24.5  Vocational training or some college or university  79  49.7  74.2  Al  25.8  100%  159  100%  Professional or semiprofessional  64  40.3%  Clerical, sales, or technician  40  25.2%  Skilled or semi-skilled manual labour  14  8.8%  Self-employed  34  21.4%  Homemaker  31  19.5%  Student  15  9.4%  Unemployed  6  3.8%  Retired  8  5.0%  Response ommitted  University graduate or postgraduate  Current Employment (participants checked all that applied)  Note: some participants in more than one category (table continues)  44.  Characteristic  Freq.  %  Cum %  8  5.0  5.0  Less than 12,000  13  8.2  13.2  12,000 to 19,999  12  7.5  20.8  20,000 to 34,999  42  26.4  47.2  35,000 to 49,999  30  18.9  66.0  50,000 to 59,999  16  10.1  76.1  60,000 and above  _38  23.9  100%  159  100%  Canada  151  95.0  95.0  U.S.  __8  _5£  100%  159  100%  Household Income Response ommitted  Country of residence  Residential Area Response ommitted  6  3.8  3.8  Urban  79  49.7  53.5  Suburban  47  29.6  83.0  _27  1L0  100%  159  100%  Rural  (table continues)  45.  Characteristic  Freq.  %  Cum %  Relationship Status Married  85  53.5  53.5  Divorced  15  9.4  62.9  Widowed  2  1.3  64.2  Single/Never married  32  20.1  84.3  Living with significant other  23  14.5  98.7  2  1.3  Other  159  100%  100%  Parenting Have children  95  59.7  59.7  Do not have children  64  40,3  100%  159  100%  16  10.1%  Aboriginal  7  4.4%  European  127  79.9%  17  10.8%  Ethnic Heritage (participants checked all that applied) Do not know  Other  (includes 5 or less of Hispanic, Asian, African, West Indian, Canadian and other)  Note: some participants checked any combination of above categories Adoptive Parents' Ethnic Heritage Do not know  11  6.9%  Aboriginal  3  1.9%  European  137  96.2%  12  7.6%  Other (includes 5 or less of Asian, African,Canadian and other)  Note: some participants checked any combination of above categories (table continues)  46.  Characteristic  Freq.  %  Cum %  3  1.9  1.9  None  30  18.9  20.8  Protestant  69  43.4  64.2  Catholic  32  20.1  84.3  Christian  17  10.7  95.0  Other  8  5.0  Religion Response ommitted  159  100%  100%  Adoptive Parents' Religion Response ommitted  3  1.9  1.9  None  13  8.2  10.1  Protestant  80  50.3  60.4  Catholic  41  25.8  86.2  Christian  15  9.4  95.6  5  3.1  98.7  Other Don't Know  _2  .JL3  159  100%  100%  Age When Began Living with Adoptive Family Don't know  3  1.9  Less than 3 months old  87  54.7  56.6  3 to 6 months old  26  16.4  73.0  6 to 12 months old  22  13.8  86.8  1 to 2 years old  11  6.9  93.7  2 to 4 years old  8  5.0  98.7  _2  _La  100%  159  100%  5 years and older  1.9  47.  F e m a l e a d o p t e e s constituted a majority ( 7 8 % ) of the participants, while m a l e s constituted approximately one-fifth (20.1%). A l l participants w e r e o v e r the a g e of 19, with the majority b e i n g u n d e r the a g e of 4 0 ( 6 6 % ) . W h i l e 3 4 % of participants w e r e u n d e r the a g e of 30, only 7 . 5 % w e r e between 19 a n d 24, c o m p a r e d to 2 6 . 4 %  between  2 5 a n d 29. T h e majority of r e s p o n d e n t s were either married ( 5 3 . 5 % ) or living with a significant other (14.5%), while 20.1 % reported being s i n g l e a n d n e v e r married.  Less  than 1 0 % of r e s p o n d e n t s w e r e divorced a n d l e s s than 2 % w e r e widowed. A p p r o x i m a t e l y 6 0 % of r e s p o n d e n t s reported that they h a d children, a n d l e s s than 2 % reported that they h a d a d o p t e d children t h e m s e l v e s or p l a c e d a child for adoption. A p p r o x i m a t e l y 7 5 % of the participants h a d c o m p l e t e d s o m e form of v o c a t i o n a l training, s o m e c o l l e g e or university, or w e r e university g r a d u a t e s or postgraduates. T h e r e w e r e approximately the s a m e proportion of university g r a d u a t e s or post g r a d u a t e s ( 2 5 . 8 % ) a s p e o p l e w h o h a d c o m p l e t e d high s c h o o l or s o m e high s c h o o l ( 2 3 . 9 % ) with the remaining having c o m p l e t e d s o m e form of v o c a t i o n a l training or s o m e c o l l e g e or university (49.7%). T h i s education level w a s further reflected in the e m p l o y m e n t d e m o g r a p h i c s of the participants w h e r e 4 0 . 3 %  of participants i n d i c a t e d  that their e m p l o y m e n t included a p r o f e s s i o n a l or s e m i p r o f e s s i o n a l  occupation.  Participants indicated their ethnic heritage a s being i n c l u d e d in a n y o n e or more of the f o l l o w i n g groups: E u r o p e a n (79.9%), A b o r i g i n a l ( 4 . 4 % ) , a n d O t h e r ( 1 0 . 8 % ) , w h i c h i n c l u d e d Hispanic, A s i a n , African, W e s t Indian, a n d C a n a d i a n . S o m e participants ( 1 0 . 1 % ) did not know their ethnic heritage. T h e majority of participants indicated their adoptive parents' ethnic heritage a s E u r o p e a n ( 9 6 . 2 % ) , and/or A b o r i g i n a l ( 1 . 9 % ) and/or Other (7.6%), w h i c h i n c l u d e d A s i a n , A f r i c a n , C a n a d i a n a n d other. S o m e a d o p t e e s replied that they did not know their adoptive parents' ethnic heritage ( 6 . 9 % ) .  48.  T h e participants' religious affiliations w e r e primarily Protestant ( 4 3 . 4 % ) , C a t h o l i c ( 2 1 . 1 % ) , C h r i s t i a n ( 1 0 . 7 % ) or another religion ( 5 . 0 % ) , although 1 8 . 9 % of p a r t i c i p a n t s indicated n o religion a n d 1.9% did not respond. Slightly more than half of participants indicated their adoptive parents' religion a s Protestant (50.3), while others i n d i c a t e d their a d o p t i v e parents' religion a s C a t h o l i c (25.8%), C h r i s t i a n ( 9 . 4 % ) , O t h e r ( 3 . 1 % ) , Don't K n o w ( 1 . 3 % ) , N o n e ( 8 . 2 % ) a n d 1.9% did not respond.  Measures  T h e m e a s u r e that w a s u s e d in this r e s e a r c h study w a s the T e n n e s s e e S e l f C o n c e p t S c a l e ( T S C S ) ( R o i d a n d Fitts, 1988). In addition, a b a c k g r o u n d q u e s t i o n n a i r e w a s a l s o i n c l u d e d to provide participant demographics, b a c k g r o u n d information, a n d narrative data.  T e n n e s s e e Self Concept Scale (TSCS) T h e T S C S is a self-administered, p a p e r a n d pencil test c o n s i s t i n g of 100 selfd e s c r i p t i v e items. B e c a u s e the original format of the test w a s l e s s t h a n c o n d u c i v e to a mailout survey, the test w a s reprinted with the permission of the p u b l i s h e r (see A p p e n d i x C). T h e items w e r e reprinted in a similar format to that of the computers c o r e d form of the T S C S , with the addition of the likert s c a l e ratings a d d e d to the top of e a c h p a g e for e a s y reference by respondents. T h e Total S c o r e is c o n s i d e r e d to be the most important s c o r e o n the T S C S ( R o i d & Fitts, 1988) a n d w a s the primary focus of this study. It reflects a person's o v e r a l l level of self-concept. A n individual with a high Total S c o r e likes himself or herself, h a s high self-confidence a n d self e s t e e m a n d acts accordingly. A p e r s o n with a low s c o r e is doubtful about his or her self worth a n d a n d little self-confidence. H e o r s h e m a y often feel anxious, d e p r e s s e d , and/or u n h a p p y (Roid & Fitts, 1988).  49.  T h e Total S c o r e is the total for 9 0 of the 100 items of the T S C S . T h e s e 9 0 items a r e a l s o u s e d to derive s c o r e s for five s u b s c a l e s of a n "external" f r a m e of r e f e r e n c e ( P h y s i c a l , Moral-Ethical, P e r s o n a l , Family, a n d S o c i a l ) a n d three s u b s c a l e s of a n "internal" f r a m e (Identity, Self-Satisfaction, a n d Behaviour). B e c a u s e of the o v e r l a p p i n g of items, the Total Positive S c o r e is highly c o r r e l a t e d with t h e s e eight s u b s c a l e s a n d t h e s e s u b s c a l e s are a l s o highly intercorrelated with e a c h other. C o r r e l a t i o n s r a n g e b e t w e e n .41 a n d .96, most b e i n g within the .70 a n d .90 range. S c o r e s for s o m e of the s u b s c a l e s w e r e c o n s i d e r e d for this study, but b e c a u s e of these high correlations, the primary f o c u s w a s p l a c e d o n the T o t a l P o s i t i v e Score. In spite of t h e s e high intercorrelations, for this study, s c o r e s w e r e d e r i v e d for the Identity, Self-Satisfaction, a n d Family s u b s c a l e s . It w a s s p e c u l a t e d that if there w e r e any d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n the groups, they w o u l d most likely be reflected in the s c o r e s of t h e s e s c a l e s . T h e items w h i c h make up the Identity s u b s c a l e are t h o s e that f o c u s o n "who I am;" the individual d e s c r i b e s his or her b a s i c identity a s h e or s h e p e r c e i v e s it. T h e Self-Satisfaction s u b s c a l e f o c u s e s o n "how I like m y s e l f a n d h o w satisfied a p e r s o n is with his or her p e r c e i v e d self image. A n d the F a m i l y s u b s c a l e reflects the individual's f e e l i n g s of adequacy, worth a n d value a s a family member. It refers to the person's p e r c e p t i o n of self in relation to people a r o u n d them. T h e Identity, a n d SelfS a t i s f a c t i o n s u b s c a l e s are m a d e up of 3 0 items each, a n d the F a m i l y s u b s c a l e is m a d e up of 18 items. In a d d i t i o n to the 9 0 items that m a k e u p the T o t a l S c o r e a n d its s u b s c a l e s , the T S C S a l s o i n c l u d e s 10 other items w h i c h were d e r i v e d from the L s c a l e of the MMPI. T h e items m a k e up the Self-Criticism s c a l e of the T S C S w h i c h acts a s both a m e a s u r e of validity a n d a s a m e a s u r e of o p e n n e s s a n d c a p a c i t y for self-criticism. T h e Distribution of R e s p o n s e s is another w a y of m e a s u r i n g the validity of the  respondent's  answers. It a l s o m e a s u r e s how confident o n e is in h o w he or s h e s a y s about himself or herself.  50.  T h e Variability s c a l e s m e a s u r e the amount of i n c o n s i s t e n c y from o n e a r e a of a person's self-concept to another. T h e Total Variability s c o r e r e p r e s e n t s the total a m o u n t of variability for the entire measure, w h e r e a s the C o l u m n Variability m e a s u r e s the a m o u n t of variability amongst the s u b s c a l e s of a n "external" nature a n d R o w V a r i a b i l i t i e s m e a s u r e s variability amongst the "internal" s u b s c a l e s .  A high s c o r e  indicates that there is little unity or integration a n d that one's self-concept is v a r i a b l e from o n e a r e a to another. T h e Total Conflict s c a l e a l s o refers to the a m o u n t of c o n f u s i o n or contradiction there is in the person's self-perception. T h e higher the s c o r e o n this s c a l e , the more c o n f u s e d the person's self-perception. O n the other hand, a p e r s o n with a very low s c o r e may be trying to portray a n overly positive self image. In addition to t h e s e original 14 s c a l e s , the 1988 r e v i s i o n of the T S C S a d d e d m e a s u r e s for 15 additional scales. This study p r o p o s e d to derive s c o r e s for 3 of t h e s e additional s c a l e s : the Personality Integration Scale, the S e e m a n P e r s o n a l i t y Integration Index, a n d the P s y c h o l o g i c a l H a r m o n y Scale. B e f o r e s c o r i n g the d a t a of this study, the r e s e a r c h e r learned that a new a n d r e v i s e d v e r s i o n of the T S C S w a s d u e to b e r e l e a s e d . T h i s n e w revision of the T S C S h a s d r o p p e d t h e s e 15 s u p p l e m e n t a r y s c a l e s w h i c h w e r e a d d e d to the 1988 revision. T h e r e v i s e d T S C S a n d h a s g o n e b a c k to its original format with 14 b a s i c s c a l e s for three reasons. First, the e m p i r i c a l s c a l e s w e r e d e v e l o p e d a n d a d d e d to the T S C S a s r e s e a r c h s c a l e s but r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e not s h o w n e n o u g h interest in them a n d not e n o u g h information h a s b e e n a c c u m u l a t e d to validate their continued use. S e c o n d , s i n c e the T S C S w a s first d e v e l o p e d , other tests h a v e b e c o m e a v a i l a b l e that f o c u s on clinical p s y c h o p a t h o l o g y that a r e m u c h better for m e a s u r i n g this. A n d third, with the addition of the empirical s c a l e s , the T S C S h a d reported s c o r e s for s o m e p o s s i b l e 30 scales. C o n s i d e r i n g that the m e a s u r e only c o n s i s t s of 100 items, it g o e s without saying that the correlations a m o n g t h e s e s c a l e s w e r e very high. Therefore, the s c a l e s w e r e not i n d e p e n d e n t of e a c h other s o there w a s no a s s u r a n c e that they w e r e m e a s u r i n g what they intended to m e a s u r e ( W a r r e n , 1996).  51.  T h i s study has d e r i v e d s c o r e s for only one of the three additional s c a l e s w h i c h it originally p r o p o s e d to study. T h e P e r s o n a l i t y Integration S c a l e (PI) w a s u s e d for this study but the S e e m a n P e r s o n a l i t y Integration S c a l e (SPII) a n d the P s y c h o l o g i c a l H a r m o n y S c a l e (PH) w e r e dropped. Although the a b o v e information w h i c h  was  o b t a i n e d from the p u b l i s h e r w a s a factor in the d e c i s i o n to e x c l u d e t h e s e s c a l e s from this study, there w e r e a l s o two other reasons. T h e first r e a s o n is s p e c i f i c to the SPII. T h e SPII s u g g e s t s that a s c o r e be given for the amount of time that it took the r e s p o n d e n t to a n s w e r the T S C S . T h i s point was o v e r l o o k e d w h e n s e l e c t i n g s c a l e s to be i n c l u d e d in this study and a question on completion time w a s not i n c l u d e d on the questionnaire. A n d s e c o n d , given that the T S C S is dropping t h e s e s c a l e s it is unlikely that future r e s e a r c h will include these s c a l e s and refer to the findings of this study. Therefore, eliminating these s c a l e s will not h a v e a notable effect o n future k n o w l e d g e in this area.  Background Questionnaire T h e b a c k g r o u n d q u e s t i o n n a i r e (see A p p e n d i x B) r e q u e s t e d information c o n c e r n i n g d e m o g r a p h i c characteristics, s u c h a s gender, age',  ethnicity, e d u c a t i o n  level, employment, income, and religion. In addition, it a l s o r e q u e s t e d information r e g a r d i n g the participants' adoption. For example, it i n c l u d e d q u e s t i o n s r e g a r d i n g the a g e w h e n participants b e g a n living with their adoptive families, their a g e w h e n they w e r e told of their adoption, and information regarding their relationship with their a d o p t i v e parents. Participants who  had had contact with a birth relative w e r e a l s o  a s k e d to c o m p l e t e an additional s e c t i o n with requested information r e g a r d i n g the contact a n d the effect, if any, it had on their s e n s e of self concept. F o r the most part, the b a c k g r o u n d questionnaire c o n s i s t e d of c a t e g o r i e s of data, s o m e w h i c h w e r e nominal, and participants c h e c k e d off the c a t e g o r i e s that best a p p l i e d to them. A few of the q u e s t i o n s required participants to r e s p o n d u s i n g a likert s c a l e of  52.  1 to 5, a n d o n e q u e s t i o n a s k e d participants to rank the g i v e n r e s p o n s e s .  Participants  w e r e a l s o invited to s h a r e c o m m e n t s o n their e x p e r i e n c e s and/or o n a n y q u e s t i o n in the questionnaires. Data A n a l y s e s  T h e preliminary a n a l y s e s for this study b e g a n with e x a m i n i n g g e n d e r differences on the T S C S Total Score. A two-tailed t-test w a s u s e d to c o m p a r e the m e a n Total S c o r e s of m a l e to f e m a l e participants of the study. Then, the d a t a o b t a i n e d from the b a c k g r o u n d q u e s t i o n n a i r e w a s s u m m a r i z e d for all participants u s i n g f r e q u e n c y distributions. T h e s e frequency distributions w e r e then c a l c u l a t e d for the individual r e u n i o n g r o u p s a n d G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 w e r e c o m p a r e d o n this b a c k g r o u n d information. M o s t of the data from the background q u e s t i o n n a i r e w a s in c a t e g o r i c a l format, s o before moving o n to test the h y p o t h e s e s for the study, C h i - s q u a r e tests w e r e u s e d to a s s e s s the e q u i v a l e n c y of t h e s e s a m p l e groups. C h i - s q u a r e test is a test u s e d to determine whether two frequency distributions differ significantly from o n e another. T h e P e a r s o n v a l u e s for Chi-square w e r e u s e d to c o m p a r e G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 o n c a t e g o r i c a l d a t a d e r i v e d from the background questionnaire. O n c e the preliminary a n a l y s e s w e r e completed, a n a l y s e s f o c u s e d o n the hypotheses.  In c a s e s w h e r e a n a l y s i s required the c o m p a r i s o n of m o r e than two m e a n  s c o r e s , a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e ( A N O V A ) w e r e performed. A N O V A is a statistical method w h i c h is u s e d to determine whether m e a n s c o r e s o n o n e or more factors differ significantly. W h e n only two m e a n s c o r e s w e r e c o m p a r e d , t-tests w e r e used. F o r H y p o t h e s i s 1, a t-test w a s performed to a s s e s s differences b e t w e e n G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 o n the Total Score, but for the other s u b s c a l e s that w e r e e x a m i n e d for this hypothesis, multivariate a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e ( M A N O V A ) w e r e used. T h i s test is similar to the t-test a n d the A N O V A in that it determines whether s c o r e s differ, however, this  53.  test g r o u p s together s c o r e s o n two or more d e p e n d e n t v a r i a b l e s a n d c a l c u l a t e s w h e t h e r the s a m p l e g r o u p s differ o n the particular "cluster" of d e p e n d e n t variables. B e c a u s e of the high intercorrelations a m o n g the s u b s c a l e s of the T S C S , two sets of M A N O V A s w e r e c o n d u c t e d to e x a m i n e differences in m e a n s c o r e s b e t w e e n the groups. T h e first M A N O V A included the Identity, S e l f - S a t i s f a c t i o n a n d F a m i l y s u b s c a l e s , a n d the s e c o n d w a s performed for the Total Conflict, T o t a l Variability, a n d P e r s o n a l i t y Integration scales. T h e correlations b e t w e e n the S e l f - C r i t i c i s m S c a l e a n d the other s c a l e s w e r e relatively low, s o this s c a l e w a s e x a m i n e d a l o n e u s i n g a t-test. T h e t-test, A N O V A , a n d M A N O V A statistical tests e a c h a s s u m e h o m o g e n e i t y of variances.  Therefore, Levene' T e s t for Equality of V a r i a n c e s w a s c o n d u c t e d for e a c h  test. H o m o g e n e i t y of v a r i a n c e s w a s indicated in most c a s e s . In c a s e s w h e n Levene's T e s t indicated significant differences in variance (p<05), the s a m p l e s i z e s w e r e c o n s i d e r e d . If the s a m p l e s i z e s were equal, then h o m o g e n e i t y of v a r i a n c e s w a s a s s u m e d (Reichl, 1996). If they w e r e not, then the t v a l u e w a s c o r r e c t e d for u n e q u a l variances. T h e r e w e r e six additional a n a l y s e s c o n d u c t e d s u p p l e m e n t a r y to the h y p o t h e s e s tested. T h e s e a n a l y s e s u s e d either t-tests or A N O V A d e p e n d i n g o n h o w m a n y factors of the v a r i a b l e w e r e involved. For t h e s e analyses, the more c o n s e r v a t i v e a l p h a level of p_<.01 w a s set to limit the risk of T y p e I errors. A final a n a l y s i s w a s c o n d u c t e d to e x a m i n e the relationship a m o n g v a r i o u s v a r i a b l e s d e r i v e d from the b a c k g r o u n d questionnaire a n d the T S C S T o t a l S c o r e . F o r this a n a l y s i s , a S p e a r m a n correlation w a s used. T h e S p e a r m a n c o r e l a t i o n allows for c o m p a r i s o n of relationships a m o n g nominal a n d continuous v a r i a b l e s and,  therefore,  w a s appropriate for this study b e c a u s e the Total S c o r e w a s a c o n t i n u o u s v a r i a b l e a n d the v a r i a b l e s from the b a c k g r o u n d questionnaire w e r e nominal. T h e results of the a n a l y s e s w h i c h w e r e c o n d u c t e d are p r e s e n t e d in the following chapter.  54.  C H A P T E R IV Results  T h e d a t a p r o d u c e d by this study w a s a n a l y z e d by c o m p u t e r u s i n g the statistical software p a c k a g e , S P S S for W i n d o w s , version 6.0. E a c h participant's r e s p o n s e s to q u e s t i o n s o n the b a c k g r o u n d questionnaire a n d on the T S C S w e r e e n t e r e d into the computer. T o t a l s w e r e obtained for e a c h participant on the following s c a l e s of the T S C S : Total P o s i t i v e Score, a n d eight subscales, including Identity, S e l f - S a t i s f a c t i o n , Behaviour, P h y s i c a l Self, Moral-Ethical Self, P e r s o n a l Self, F a m i l y Self, a n d S o c i a l Self; Self-Criticism; Distribution of R e s p o n s e s ; Total Variability; Total Conflict; a n d the empirical scale, Personality Integration. T h i s c h a p t e r presents the results of e a c h of the a n a l y s e s w h i c h w e r e performed. It b e g i n s b y d e s c r i b i n g the preliminary a n a l y s i s w h i c h w e r e c o n d u c t e d prior to testing the h y p o t h e s e s . T h e section o n preliminary a n a l y s e s i n c l u d e s t h e results of e x a m i n a t i o n for g e n d e r differences o n the T S C S , a s s e s s m e n t of the r e s p o n s e s o n the b a c k g r o u n d questionnaire, a n d a n a l y s e s to e s t a b l i s h the e q u i v a l e n c e of the s a m p l e groups. T h e next section of this chapter deals with the h y p o t h e s e s w h i c h w e r e tested. T h e results of the a n a l y s e s for e a c h hypothesis a r e p r e s e n t e d individually. A n d finally, the s u p p l e m e n t a r y a n a l y s e s w h i c h were c o n d u c t e d are d e s c r i b e d a n d the results a r e presented. A s noted in T a b l e 3.1, there were few r e s p o n d e n t s w h o w e r e not searchers, so s o m e of the a n a l y s e s w e r e b a s e d on s e a r c h e r s only. N v a l u e s a r e i n d i c a t e d for e a c h analysis. Preliminary A n a l y s i s  G e n d e r Differences A 2-tailed t-test w a s c o n d u c t e d o n all participants (N=159) to c h e c k for g e n d e r d i f f e r e n c e s o n the Total S c o r e of the T S C S . T h e difference in m e a n s c o r e s b e t w e e n  55  m a l e (n=32) (M=354.72; SD_=41.21) and female (n=124) (M=350.71; £D=42.61) participants ( m i s s i n g c a s e s = 3 ) was nonsignificant (t(154)=.48; p_=.63). T h e m e a n s c o r e s for the m a l e and female groups w e r e both within the normal limits for the g e n e r a l p o p u l a t i o n a s reported for the T S C S . Consequently, for this study, the d e c i s i o n w a s m a d e to group male and female participants into the s a m e groups, rather than differentiating the g r o u p s b a s e d on gender.  Descriptive Data In addition to the d e m o g r a p h i c information p r e s e n t e d in the p r e v i o u s chapter, the b a c k g r o u n d q u e s t i o n n a i r e a l s o provided information on the participants' e x p e r i e n c e s of adoption, a n d s e a r c h and reunion. In order to s u m m a r i z e this data, w h i c h w a s predominantly categorical or nominal in format, f r e q u e n c y distributions w e r e c a l c u l a t e d for the entire study s a m p l e (N=159). T h e results are a s follows. T h e b a c k g r o u n d questionnaire a s k e d participants how o l d they w e r e w h e n they b e g a n living with their adoptive families. T h e majority of participants w e r e l e s s than 12 m o n t h s o l d ( 8 4 . 9 % ) w h e n they b e g a n living with their a d o p t i v e families with m o r e than half of them l e s s than 3 months old (54.7%). Others w e r e 1 to 2 y e a r s o l d ( 6 . 9 % ) , 2 to 4 y e a r s o l d ( 5 . 0 % ) , 5 y e a r s and older ( 1 . 3 % ) , or they did not k n o w ( 1 . 9 % ) . M o s t a d o p t e e s w e r e informed of their adoption by their adoptive parents ( 8 5 . 5 % ) a n d most w e r e informed before the a g e of 14 (84.2%). U s i n g a likert scale, the participants of the study reported on their relationships with their a d o p t i v e parents. Overall, the study participants reported h a v i n g positive r e l a t i o n s h i p s with their adoptive parents. At the time of the study, o v e r half ( 5 5 . 3 % ) of the participants reported being very c l o s e or s o m e w h a t c l o s e with their a d o p t i v e parents, a n d 1 1 . 3 % reported having casual, neither c l o s e nor distant relationships with them. O n l y 1 5 . 1 % of participants reported having s o m e w h a t distant or very distant  56.  relationships with their adoptive parents, a n d 1 8 . 2 % reported that both their adoptive parents w e r e d e c e a s e d . Participants a l s o reported on their recollection of their relationship with their a d o p t i v e parents w h e n they w e r e t e e n a g e r s a n d w h e n they w e r e children. Slightly l e s s than half ( 4 9 . 7 % ) reported having somewhat c l o s e or very c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s with their adoptive parents during their teen years, a n d approximately one-third ( 3 4 . 0 % ) reported s o m e w h a t distant or very distant relationships, a n d 1 6 . 4 % reported c a s u a l , neither c l o s e nor distant relationships. P e r h a p s most interesting, though, is the number of participants that reported h a v i n g c l o s e or very c l o s e relationships with their adoptive parents w h e n they w e r e children. O v e r 7 1 % of a d o p t e e s reported having c l o s e or very c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s with their adoptive parents w h e n they were a child. Of the others, 1 8 . 9 % reported a c a s u a l , neither c l o s e nor distant relationship, a n d 9.4% reported a distant or very distant relationship. T h e s e n u m b e r s are very similar to those reported by S a c h d e v (1992) a n d will b e d i s c u s s e d in more detail in the next chapter. In order to further a s s e s s the adoptees' relationships with their a d o p t i v e parents, the b a c k g r o u n d q u e s t i o n n a i r e went one step more a n d a s k e d participants whether they h a d c o n f i d e d in their adoptive parents about their s e a r c h a n d reunion. A l m o s t twothirds ( 6 3 . 5 % ) of participants reported that they h a d informed their a d o p t i v e parents of their s e a r c h and/or reunion. M o s t of them (63.4%) informed their a d o p t i v e parents before they b e g a n searching, 2 7 . 7 % informed them after they started the s e a r c h but before they w e r e reunited, a n d 8.9% informed their adoptive parents after the reunion. Of t h o s e that d i d not inform their adoptive parents, there w e r e s o m e participants w h o s e a d o p t i v e parents h a d p a s s e d away before they initiated the search/reunion a n d they did not d i s c u s s it with them before they d e c e a s e d . W h i l e s o m e of the a d o p t e e s may h a v e d e f e r r e d their s e a r c h a n d reunion until after their adoptive parents p a s s e d away,  57.  certainly the majority did not, a n d in fact, most participants informed their adoptive parents of their d e c i s i o n to s e a r c h and/or h a v e contact with a birth relative. T h e b a c k g r o u n d q u e s t i o n n a i r e h a d three q u e s t i o n s w h i c h w e r e d e s i g n e d to a s s e s s the extent to w h i c h participants c o n s i d e r e d self c o n c e p t or identity a factor in the p r o c e s s of s e a r c h a n d reunion. T h e first question a s k e d participants to c h e c k and/or rank (if more than o n e c h e c k e d ) the influences o n their d e c i s i o n to s e a r c h . "Identity" ( 7 4 % ) , "curiousity" ( 7 1 % ) , a n d "a n e e d to know" ( 6 2 % ) w e r e a m o n g the i n f l u e n c e s most often c h e c k e d by participants ( s e e table 4.1). T h e s e r e a s o n s w e r e a l s o a m o n g s t the o n e s with the highest rank. "Identity" w a s r a n k e d #1 by 2 8 % of participants, "curiousity", 1 6 % , a n d "a n e e d to know" r a n k e d a s #1, by 2 5 % of participants. T h e other influence which w a s highly ranked a n d most often i n c l u d e d a s one of the i n f l u e n c e s o n the d e c i s i o n to s e a r c h w a s " M e d i c a l information". T h i s w a s c h e c k e d by 7 7 % of participants a n d ranked #1 by 2 6 % of participants. Table 4.1 Most Important Influences on Decisions to Search or Enter Into a Reunion (N=159) Rank* All Ranks  #4  #3  #2  #1  Influences  Freq.  %  13.2  122  76.7  13  8.2  117  73.6  19.5  21  13.2  113  71.1  16  10.1  9  5.7  98  61.6  6.3  6  3.8  8  5.0  51  32.1  7  4.4  5  3.1  4  2.5  27  17.0  2  1.3  5  3.1  2  1.3  24  15.1  Freq  %  Freq.  %  Freq.  %  Freq.  %  Medical  41  25.8  25  15.7  29  18.2  21  Identity  44  27.7  36  22.6  22  13.8  Curiosity  25  15.7  32  20.1  31  A Need to Know  40  25.2  28  17.6  Encouragement from Others  7  4.4  10  Planning to have Children  0  0.0  Other  7  4.4  * Frequencies for Ranks #1 to #4 are presented, although in some cases, respondents ranked items to 6 or 7.  58.  Of the other two q u e s t i o n s examining the influence of identity or self c o n c e p t in the p r o c e s s of s e a r c h a n d reunion, o n e requested a narrative r e s p o n s e , of w h i c h the results will b e d i s c u s s e d in the next chapter. T h e other q u e s t i o n w a s limited to participants w h o h a d a l r e a d y h a d contact with a birth relative. T h i s q u e s t i o n a s k e d participants whether the reunion h a d a n y effect o n their s e n s e of self c o n c e p t or identity, a n d how. Of those respondents w h o h a d contact (n_=84; m i s s i n g cases=1), 8 8 % s a i d that their self concept h a d b e e n affected, a n d approximately 1 1 % s a i d it h a d not. Furthermore, of those w h o r e s p o n d e d that the s e a r c h a n d r e u n i o n d i d effect their self concept, 9 0 . 5 % of them s a i d the effect h a d b e e n positive, 5 . 4 % s a i d it h a d b e e n negative, a n d 4 . 1 % d i d not r e s p o n d (see table 4.2). Table 4.2 Reported Effect of Reunion on Self-Concept (n=84)  Response  Freq.  %  Cum. %  Response ommitted  1  1.2  1.2  Reunion has had no effect on sense of self-concept or identity.  9  10.7  11.9  Reunion has had an effect on sense of self-concept or identity.  74  88,1  100%  84  100%  67  90.5  90.5  4  5.4  95.9  _3 74  4.1 100%  100%  The effect on self-concept * has been positive has been negative Response ommitted  * n=74 (respondents who reported reunion had an effect on sense of self-concept or identity)  T h e r e w a s o n e s e c t i o n of the b a c k g r o u n d q u e s t i o n n a i r e that w a s s p e c i f i c to participants w h o h a d e x p e r i e n c e d contact with a birth relative (n=84; m i s s i n g cases=1).  59.  T h i s s e c t i o n a s k e d q u e s t i o n s regarding who they had contact with, w h e n the contact w a s made, a n d the amount of contact. A l m o s t 6 2 % of r e s p o n d e n t s w e r e first reunited with their birth mother, 7 . 1 % first with their birth father, 1 6 . 7 % with a birth sibling, a n d 14.3 with a n o t h e r birth relative. L e s s than 5 % of participants h a d m a d e contact within the last 3 months, 6.9% within 3 to 6 months, 6.9% within 6 to 12 months, 9.4% within 12 to 24 months, 1 5 . 1 % within 2 to 5 years, and 1 0 . 1 % m a d e contact m o r e than 5 y e a r s ago. 6%  M o s t people's first contact was by p h o n e (63.1%), or by letter ( 3 0 . 9 % ) , a n d only of first c o n t a c t s w e r e in person. Nevertheless, most p e o p l e met in p e r s o n within a  month after the first contact (51.2%), within a y e a r ( 7 7 . 4 % ) , or within 2 y e a r s ( 8 5 . 7 % ) . At the time of the study, l e s s than 1 5 % of respondents had not met in p e r s o n yet. A b o u t 4 0 % of r e s p o n d e n t s lived less than a 5 hour drive a w a y from the p e r s o n they first had contact with, another 4 9 % lived more than a five hour drive away, either in the s a m e province/state, a different province/state, or another country. L e s s than 11 % of r e s p o n d e n t s lived in the s a m e town/city a s the p e r s o n they s e a r c h e d for. T h e majority of r e s p o n d e n t s had contact with the person they s e a r c h e d for w e e k l y ( 2 1 . 4 % ) , monthly ( 3 6 . 9 % ) , or every few months (23.8%). L e s s than 2 % of p e o p l e had daily contact, 6 % yearly or on s p e c i a l o c c a s i o n s , and about 11 % had no contact with this person. In a d d i t i o n to the p e r s o n they s e a r c h e d for a n d first h a d contact with, most participants h a d a l s o had contact with other birth relatives, including birth siblings ( 7 0 . 2 % ) , birth g r a n d p a r e n t s ( 2 3 . 8 % ) , birth father (27.4%), birth mother ( 1 6 . 6 % ) , and/or other birth relatives ( 5 4 . 8 % ) . One  of the final q u e s t i o n s on the b a c k g r o u n d q u e s t i o n n a i r e s e c t i o n for  participants who  h a d a reunion, a s k e d them, k n o w i n g what they now knew, w o u l d they  do it a g a i n ? O v e r 9 5 % of respondents indicated that they w o u l d s e a r c h again, a n d 8 9 . 3 % s a i d they w o u l d h a v e a reunion. L e s s than 2 % indicated that they w o u l d not s e a r c h nor w o u l d they h a v e a reunion. T h e remaining participants d i d not r e s p o n d  60.  (n=3 did not r e s p o n d to s e a r c h i n g again; n=8 did not r e s p o n d to h a v i n g a r e u n i o n again).  G r o u p s for A n a l y s e s T h i s study intended to m a k e c o m p a r i s o n s b e t w e e n four g r o u p s of adoptees. G r o u p 1 ( s e a r c h e r s , post-reunion) w e r e a d o p t e e s who c o m p l e t e d a s e a r c h a n d  had  contact with a birth relative. G r o u p 2 (searchers, pre-reunion) w e r e a d o p t e e s who  were  either in the p r o c e s s of s e a r c h i n g or had completed a s e a r c h and h a d not had contact with a birth relative. G r o u p 3 (nonsearchers, post-reunion) w e r e a d o p t e e s who did not s e a r c h but who e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion b e c a u s e a birth relative s e a r c h e d for them. G r o u p 4 (nonsearchers, pre-reunion) w e r e those who  And  had not s e a r c h e d a n d had not  h a d contact with a birth relative. T h e r e w e r e very few r e s p o n d e n t s to the study  who  identified t h e m s e l v e s a s nonsearchers. T h i s resulted in a limited n u m b e r of participants for G r o u p 3 (n=6) a n d G r o u p 4 (n=5). B e c a u s e of t h e s e s m a l l s a m p l e s i z e s , the study did not complete a n a l y s e s which involved the n o n s e a r c h e r s ' groups. A n a l y s e s for the study f o c u s e d on pre- and post-reunion s e a r c h e r s , G r o u p 1 (n=79) a n d G r o u p 2 (n=69) only. E q u i v a l e n c e of the S a m p l e Groups. Prior to testing the hypotheses, a n a l y s e s w e r e performed to investigate whether the participant g r o u p s w e r e c o m p a r a b l e . G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 w e r e c o m p a r e d to e a c h other on d e m o g r a p h i c characteristics u s i n g c h i s q u a r e tests. T h e results of t h e s e a n a l y s e s are reported in T a b l e 4.3. T h e s a m p l e g r o u p s w e r e similar in almost all respects, including gender, e d u c a t i o n level, country of r e s i d e n c e , r e s i d e n c e in urban/rural areas, and i n c o m e levels. In addition, G r o u p 1 and G r o u p 2 w e r e similar in the ethnic heritages of participants a n d of their a d o p t i v e parents. T h e o n l y e x c e p t i o n was in the n u m b e r of participants who  identified their  e t h n i c heritage a s European. T h e r e was a significant difference b e t w e e n G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 in the n u m b e r of participants who  identified " E u r o p e a n " a s at least o n e of their  61.  e t h n i c heritages; however, both g r o u p s w e r e p r e d o m i n a n t l y m a d e up of p e o p l e of E u r o p e a n heritage. T h e g r o u p s w e r e similar in all other ethnicities a n d in t h o s e of their a d o p t i v e parents. Table 4.3 Chi-Square Tests of Demographic Similarities Between Group 1 (n=79) and Group 2 (n=69^  Gender Male Female Group 1  16  61  Group 2  14  54 %T1) = 0.0008, p = .98 Aae 60 & over  19-24  25-29  30-39  40-49  50-59  Group 1  6  13  22  25  8  5  Group 2  6  25  24  8  6  0 %*(5) = 17.32, fj = .004  High School  Education Level Vocational Training University Grad. Some College or Univ. or Post-Graduate  Group 1  17  42  19  Group 2  18  33  18 %*(3) = 1.47, p_= .69  Emplovment Clerical/ Skilled or SelfProfessional Semi-skilled Employed or Semi-Pro. Sales/ Technician Labour  Homemaker  Student  Unemployed Retired  Group 1  34  16  3  21  20  6  1  6  Group 2  25  21  11  12  10  9  4  2  0.71  2.04  6.34  1.80  2.67  1.20  2.32  1.59  .40  .15  .01  .18  .10  .27  .13  .21  a  (Note: Some participants checked more than one category.) (table continues^  62.  <12,000  12,00019,999  Income 20,000- 35,00034,999 49,999  50,00059,999  60,000 +  Group 1  5  4  25  13  5  22  Group 2  8  7  15  15  8  14 0^(5) = 6.29, p. = .28  Country of Residence Canada U.S. Group 1  74  5  Group 2  66  3 X ( 1 ) = 0.28, p_= .59 l  Urban  Area Suburban  Rural  Group 1  36  25  15  Group 2  40  14  12  0C(2) = 2.96, p = .23  Don't Know  Aboriginal  Ethnic Heritage European Hispanic  Asian  African  Other  Group 1  6  5  68  0  3  2  4  Group 2  8  2  50  2  1  0  4  0.69  .96  4.22  2.32  0.77  1.77  .04  .41  .33  .04  .13  .38  .18  .84  P-  (Note: Some participants checked more than one category.)  Don't Know  Fthnir. Heritaae of AdoDtive Parents Asian Hispanic Aboriginal European  African  Other  Group 1  3  1  69  0  1  1  5  Group 2  6  2  59  2  1  0  4  1.54  0.49  0.12  2.32  0.01  .88  .02  .25  .48  .75  .13  .92  .35  .89  P-  (Note: Some participants checked more than one category.) (table continues)  63.  Married  Divorced  Relationship Status Widowed Single/ Never Married  Living with Sig. Other  Other  Group 1  50  7  2  12  7  1  Group 2  29  6  0  18  15  1 o£(5) = 11.14, p. = .05  Have Children Yes No Group 1  59  20  Group 2  29  40 0^(1) = 16.29, p. = .0001  Don't know  Aae Beaan Livina with AdoDtive Familv 3-6 mths 6-12 mths 1-2 yrs <3 mths  Group 1  2  41  9  Group 2  1  42  15  1 7  1  2-4 yrs  5 yrs +  8  8  0  3  0  1 %*(6) = 13.39, p = .04  R e g a r d i n g the employment of participants, the two g r o u p s w e r e a g a i n very similar. T h e only difference w a s that approximately 1 6 % of participants in G r o u p 2 indicated "skilled or semi-skilled manual labour" a s their current e m p l o y m e n t (note: participants c h e c k e d all categories that applied, a n d may h a v e c h e c k e d m o r e than o n e type of employment). W h e r e a s , l e s s than 4 % of participants in G r o u p 1 i n d i c a t e d "skilled or semi-skilled m a n u a l labour" to d e s c r i b e their current employment. T h e r e were, however, s o m e more o b v i o u s d e m o g r a p h i c differences b e t w e e n the two groups. First, a chi-square test indicated significant differences b e t w e e n the two g r o u p s in the a g e s of the participants. T h e most apparent r e a s o n for the difference b e t w e e n the g r o u p s w a s that G r o u p 2 h a d twice a s m a n y p e o p l e a g e d 2 5 to 29, a n d G r o u p 1 h a d three times more people a g e d 4 0 to 49. Furthermore, G r o u p 2 h a d no  64.  participants who w e r e over a g e 60. T h e g r o u p s w e r e fairly similar in r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the other a g e categories. S e c o n d , there w a s a l s o a difference b e t w e e n the g r o u p s in participants' relationship status. T h i s may be due to the fact that G r o u p 1 h a d more p e o p l e who w e r e married, a n d more who w e r e widowed, a n d G r o u p 2 h a d more p e o p l e w h o w e r e living with a significant other a n d p e o p l e who identified t h e m s e l v e s a s "single/never married." T h e third, a n d p e r h a p s the most a p p a r e n t difference b e t w e e n G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 w a s in the number of participants who h a d children. A p p r o x i m a t e l y 7 5 % of the participants in G r o u p 1 h a d children, w h e r e a s only 4 2 % of participants in G r o u p 2 h a d children. T h i s difference w a s significant at p_<.001 level. T h e s e d i f f e r e n c e s may be a reflection of the distribution of a g e s of participants in e a c h group. T h a t is, b e c a u s e 4 5 % of the participants in G r o u p 2 w e r e u n d e r the a g e of 30, c o m p a r e d to only 2 4 % in G r o u p 1, it is not surprising that G r o u p 2 h a d f e w e r participants w h o w e r e married a n d also fewer who h a d children. A n o t h e r difference b e t w e e n G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 h a d to do with t h e a g e in w h i c h participants b e g a n living with their adoptive families. A chi-square test indicated a significant difference b e t w e e n the g r o u p s on this variable. T h e n u m b e r of participants w h o b e g a n living with their adoptive families before the a g e of 3 months w e r e e q u a l l y distributed b e t w e e n G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2, however, there w e r e d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n the g r o u p s in the number of participants w h o w e r e a d o p t e d at other ages. F o r example, approximately 6 % (n=9) of the participants w e r e o v e r the a g e of 2 y e a r s w h e n they b e g a n living with their adoptive parents. A l l but o n e of t h e s e participants w e r e in G r o u p 1. T h i s is not surprising b e c a u s e it w a s likely that t h e s e p e o p l e r e m e m b e r e d b e i n g a d o p t e d a n d may h a v e h a d more information a b o u t their birth f a m i l i e s that m a d e s e a r c h i n g for them e a s i e r than t h o s e who w e r e a d o p t e d younger. C h i - s q u a r e tests w e r e a l s o c o n d u c t e d b e t w e e n G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 to e x a m i n e their similarity in regards to the importance of various influences o n their d e c i s i o n s to  65.  s e a r c h ( s e e T a b l e 4.4).  T h e results indicated that m e d i c a l information, identity,  curiousity, a n d a n e e d to know were the influences most highly a n d most often r a n k e d by participants in both groups. M o r e p e o p l e in G r o u p 1 r a n k e d "a n e e d to know" a s the most important influence o n their d e c i s i o n to search, w h e r e a s , G r o u p 2's r a n k i n g o n "a n e e d to know" w a s more e v e n l y distributed. Table 4.4 Chi Square Tests of Similarities between Group 1 (n=79) and Group 2 (n=69) on the Most Important Influences on the Decision to Search  Ranks  #1  #2  Medical Information #3 #4 #5  #6  Group 1  17  12  17  11  4  0  18  Group 2  20  11  12  9  1  1  15  No Response  %*(6) = 3.76, p. = .71  Ranks  #1  #2  #3  Group 1  25  21  11  Group 2  18  13  10  identity #4  #5  #6  No Response  7  1  0  14  6  0  0  22 ^ ( 5 ) = 5.27, a = .38  Ranks  #1  #2  #3  Group 1  12  12  18  Group2  11  18  11  Curiosity #4  #5  #6  No Response  10  1  1  25  10  2  0  17 %*(6) = 5.14, p. = .53  A Need to Know #4 #5  Ranks  #1  #2  #3  #6  No Response  Group 1  25  17  3  6  1  1  26  Group 2  15  10  12  1  2  1  28 0C(Q) = 13.08, p_= .04 (table continues)  66.  Encouragement from Others #3 #4 #5  Ranks  #1  #2  #6  No Response  Group 1  4  4  3  3  6  1  58  Group 2  3  6  2  5  10  1 ^  42 %*(6) = 4.15, f j = .66  Planning to Have Children #3 #4 #5  Ranks  #1  #2  #6  No Response  Group 1  0  3  2  1  2  3  68  Group 2  0  4  3  3  1  4  54  K,*(6) = 13.08, p_= .04  Ranks  #1  #2  #3  Other Factors #4 #5  #6  #7  No Response  Group 1  3  0  4  0  2  2  1  67  Group 2  4  2  1  2  0  2  1  57 0£(7) = 8.11, p = .32  Hypothesis 1  T h e primary hypothesis predicted that a d o p t e e s w h o h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion with a birth relative (Group 1) would s c o r e more positively o n the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e than t h o s e a d o p t e e s w h o w e r e s e a r c h i n g but h a d not e x p e r i e n c e d a r e u n i o n with a birth relative (Group 2). T h i s hypothesis w a s t e s t e d by c o m p a r i n g the groups' s c o r e s o n the T S C S Total Score. In addition, s c o r e s w e r e a l s o d e r i v e d a n d c o m p a r e d for the Identity, Self Satisfaction, a n d Family s u b s c a l e s , a n d the Self Criticism, T o t a l Variability, Total Conflict, a n d Personality Integration s c a l e s .  67.  Total S c o r e T h e T o t a l S c o r e is the overall m e a s u r e of self-concept a s m e a s u r e d by the T S C S . It w a s p r e d i c t e d that G r o u p l w o u l d s c o r e more positively o n the T o t a l S c o r e than G r o u p 2. A 1-tailed t-test for independent s a m p l e s r e v e a l e d no significant difference b e t w e e n the T o t a l S c o r e m e a n s of G r o u p 1 (M=354.68; SD=41.43) a n d G r o u p 2 (M=348.17; SJJ=44.18), (t(146)=0.92, p_=. 17) (Table 4.1). In addition, the m e a n s c o r e s for both g r o u p s w e r e very c l o s e to, a n d slightly higher than, the norm reported for the T S C S Total S c o r e (M=345.57; SD=30.70). Table 4.5 Means. Standard Deviations. t-Value of Total Score for Group 1 and Group 2  Group 1 (n=79)  Group 2 (a=69)  M.  354.6848  348.1739  SD  41.43  44.177  l v a l u e (146) .92  P* .18  * 1-tailed t-test  T h e results do not support the hypothesis that a d o p t e e s w h o h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d a r e u n i o n with a birth relative will s c o r e higher o n a m e a s u r e of self concept, the T S C S , t h a n a d o p t e e s w h o h a v e not e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion. In other words, there is no e v i d e n c e of a difference in Total S c o r e s between a d o p t e e s w h o h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d a r e u n i o n a n d t h o s e w h o h a v e not. A l s o , both G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 s c o r e d well within the normal limits reported for the T S C S Total Score.  Other S c a l e s T e s t e d for Hypothesis 1 In addition to the a b o v e t-test, two Multivariate A n a l y s i s of V a r i a n c e s ( M A N O V A ) w e r e a l s o c o n d u c t e d to test Hypothesis 1. T h e first M A N O V A c o m p a r e d G r o u p 1's a n d  68.  G r o u p 2's s c o r e s o n the Identity, Self-Satisfaction, a n d F a m i l y s u b s c a l e s . T h e s e c o n d c o m p a r e d the groups' s c o r e s o n the Total Conflict, T o t a l Variability, a n d P e r s o n a l i t y Integration S c a l e s . Contrary to expectation, significant d i f f e r e n c e s w e r e not f o u n d b e t w e e n G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 o n any of t h e s e T S C S s c a l e s . Identity, Self-Satisfaction, a n d Family S u b s c a l e s . It w a s e x p e c t e d that t h e G r o u p 1's m e a n s c o r e s o n these s u b s c a l e s w o u l d b e significantly h i g h e r than G r o u p 2's m e a n s c o r e s . A Multivariate A n a l y s i s of V a r i a n c e ( M A N O V A ) b e t w e e n G r o u p 1's a n d G r o u p 2's m e a n s o n t h e s e s u b s c a l e s failed to meet s i g n i f i c a n c e l e v e l s (E(3)=.94, p_=.42). T h i s is not surprising c o n s i d e r i n g t h e s e s u b s c a l e s a r e highly c o r r e l a t e d with the T o t a l Score. T h e means, standard deviations a n d t s c o r e s for e a c h of t h e s e s u b s c a l e s a r e reported in T a b l e 4.6. Again, the m e a n s c o r e s for G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 o n e a c h of t h e s e s u b s c a l e s fell well within the T S C S reported n o r m a l limits ( T S C S norm m e a n s a n d s t a n d a r d deviations a r e reported in italics in T a b l e 4.6). Table 4.6 Means. Standard Deviations and t-Values for Group 1 and Group 2 on the Identity. Self-Satisfaction and Family Subscales of the TSCS Group 1  Group 2  (n=69)  (11=79) Identity  TSCS  Norm  Group  (n=626)  M=124.71  M=124.15  M=127.10  SD=13.62  SD=14.27  SD=9.96  1(146)=.06 P= .81 Self-Satisfaction  M=113.78  M=111.55  M=103.67  SD=16.89  SD=17.42  SD=13.7Q  t(146)=.62 P= .43 (table continues)  69.  Family  TSCS Norm Group (0=626)  (n=79)  Group 2 (0=69)  M=70.90  M=68.81  M=70.83  SP_=9.40  SD=11.30  SD=8.43  Group 1  t(146)=1.51  P= .22 Overall E(1, 146) = 0.94, p_= .42  S e l f - C r i t i c i s m (SC). It w a s e x p e c t e d that G r o u p 1 w o u l d s c o r e m o r e positively than G r o u p 2 o n the Self-Criticism S c a l e . T h e m e a n s c o r e s o n the S e l f C r i t i c i s m S c a l e of the T S C S w e r e very similar b e t w e e n G r o u p l (M=32.73; SD=6.18) a n d G r o u p 2 (M=32.41; £D=6.35). T h e s e m e a n s w e r e slightly lower than the T S C S r e p o r t e d norms (M=35.54; SD=6.70).  Both G r o u p 1's a n d G r o u p 2's m e a n s w e r e within 1 S D of the  T S C S ' s norm mean. A 1-tailed t-test indicated no significant difference b e t w e e n the S e l f C r i t i c i s m s c o r e of G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 (t(146)=0.32, p = 3 8 ) . T o t a l Conflict ( T O T C), Total Variability ( V T O T ) , P e r s o n a l i t y Integration (PI). A multivariate a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e ( M A N O V A ) w a s c o n d u c t e d to c o m p a r e the m e a n s c o r e s of G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 o n e a c h of these s c a l e s . It w a s e x p e c t e d that G r o u p 1 w o u l d s c o r e significantly more positively than G r o u p 2 o n e a c h of t h e s e s c a l e s . A low s c o r e (but not a n extremely low score) is more positive than a high s c o r e o n the Total Conflict S c a l e ( T O T C), therefore, it w a s e x p e c t e d that G r o u p 1 w o u l d s c o r e lower, than G r o u p 2 o n this scale. It w a s a l s o e x p e c t e d that G r o u p 1 w o u l d s c o r e m o r e positively than G r o u p 2 o n the Total Variability S c a l e (V TOT). Like the T O T C s c a l e , a low V T O T s c o r e (but not a n extremely low score) is more positive t h a n a h i g h s c o r e b e c a u s e a p e r s o n w h o s e self-concept is consistent from a r e a of self to another, w o u l d h a v e a low variability s c o r e o n the T S C S . Therefore, it w a s e x p e c t e d that G r o u p 1 w o u l d s c o r e lower than G r o u p 2 o n this scale. T h e Personality Integration S c a l e (PI) differentiates  70.  "well-adjusted, high-functioning, ('personality integrated') i n d i v i d u a l s " from other g r o u p s of i n d i v i d u a l s ( R o i d & Fitts, 1991, p. 5). A high s c o r e o n this s c a l e is m o r e positive than a low score, s o it w a s e x p e c t e d that G r o u p 1 w o u l d s c o r e higher o n this s c a l e than G r o u p 2. T h e multivariate a n a l y s i s of v a r i a n c e indicated n o significant d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n the g r o u p s o n a n y of t h e s e scales. T h e results of the M A N O V A are p r e s e n t e d b e l o w in T a b l e 4.7. Table 4.7 Means. Standard Deviations and t Values for Group 1 and Group 2 on the Total Conflict, Total Variability and Personality Integration Scales of the TSCS Group 1  Group 2  (o=69)  (n=79) TOTC  TSCS Norm (a=626)  M=29.95  M=30.46  M=30.10  SD=8.06  SD=8.34  SD=8.21  M=41.29  M=44.06  M=48.53  SD=11.18  SD=13.93  SD=12.42  M=9.91  M=9.75  M=10.42  SD=4.Q3  SD=3.75  SD=3.88  Group  t(146)=0.11 P= .74 VTOT  t(146)=1.79 p= .18 PI  t(146)=.06 P= .81 Overall F(1, 146) = 0.64, p= .59  C o n t r a r y to expectation, a d o p t e e s in G r o u p 1 did not s c o r e significantly more positively t h a n a d o p t e e s in G r o u p 2 o n any of the T S C S s c a l e s tested. T h e r e f o r e ,  71.  H y p o t h e s i s 1 w a s rejected a n d the null hypothesis w a s accepted. A s is o b v i o u s from the results p r e s e n t e d above, there w a s no indication that a d o p t e e s w h o h a d e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion with a birth relative s c o r e d any more positively o n the T S C S t h a n a d o p t e e s w h o w e r e s e a r c h i n g but h a d not e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion. Additionally, it w a s a l s o o b v i o u s that a d o p t e e s in this study, a s a group, did not s c o r e o u t s i d e the normal limits o n a n y of the T S C S scales. It w a s e x p e c t e d that s c o r e s o n the T S C S w o u l d b e lower for a d o p t e e s s e e k i n g reunions than for the g e n e r a l p o p u l a t i o n w h e n c o m p a r e d to the g e n e r a l population norms reported for the T e n n e s s e e S e l f C o n c e p t S c a l e . W h i l e there w e r e individual s c o r e s o n every s c a l e that fell o u t s i d e the reported norms, a s a whole, the m e a n s c o r e s for all respondents (N=159), a n d for e a c h group, w e r e all within the normal limits reported for the T S C S .  Hypothesis 2  T h e s e c o n d hypothesis predicted that a d o p t e e s w h o initiated the s e a r c h for their birth relative(s) ( G r o u p 1: s e a r c h e r s , post-reunion; a n d G r o u p 2: s e a r c h e r s , prereunion) w o u l d s c o r e lower o n the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e t h a n t h o s e a d o p t e e s w h o d i d not initiate the s e a r c h for their birth relative(s) ( G r o u p 3: n o n s e a r c h e r s , postreunion; a n d G r o u p 4: nonsearchers, pre-reunion). T h e difference in the n u m b e r of s e a r c h i n g v e r s u s n o n s e a r c h i n g a d o p t e e s who r e s p o n d e d to the study m a d e it i m p o s s i b l e to complete this analysis. T h e differences in the s i z e s b e t w e e n G r o u p 1 (searchers, post-reunion) (n=79) a n d G r o u p 3(nonsearchers, post-reunion) (n=6), a n d b e t w e e n G r o u p 2 (searchers, pre-reunion) (n= 69) a n d G r o u p 4 ( n o n s e a r c h e r s , prereunion) (a=5) did not allow for a reliable analysis. N e v e r t h e l e s s , m e a n s a n d s t a n d a r d d e v i a t i o n s w e r e d e r i v e d for e a c h group. T h e y are p r e s e n t e d in T a b l e 4.8. A l t h o u g h it is i m p o s s i b l e to m a k e a n y reliable c o n c l u s i o n s b a s e d o n t h e s e outcomes, strictly looking at t h e s e group m e a n s a n d standard deviations, it d o e s a p p e a r that the g r o u p s  72.  a r e v e r y similar. A l l m e a n s a r e very c l o s e to o n e another with similar s t a n d a r d d e v i a t i o n s , a n d all a r e within the normal limits reported for t h e T S C S . Table 4.8 Means and Standard Deviations for Each Group on Total Score and other TSCS Scales  Post-Reunion Searchers Nonsearchers Group 1 (n=79) Group 3 (n=6)  Pre-Reunion Searchers Nonsearchers Group 2 (n=69) Group 4 (n=5)  Total Score M.  354.68  353.50  348.17  330.60  SD  41.43  27.28  44.18  47.32  124.71  126.50  124.14  116.40  13.62  9.27  14.27  14.81  113.77  110.00  111.55  105.80  SD  16.89  11.83  17.42  14.60  M  70.90  68.83  68.81  70.60  9.40  6.74  11.30  12.82  32.73  32.67  32.41  35.00  6.18  7.37  6.35  4.47  29.90  27.83  30.35  31.80  8.09  9.15  8.33  8.70  M  41.29  43.17  44.06  41.00  SD  11.18  9.75  13.93  4.80  M  9.91  9.33  9.75  8.60  SD  4.03  4.08  3.75  2.88  Identity  M SD  Self-Satis  Family  M  SD SC  M SD  TOTC  M SD  VTOT  PI  73.  Hypothesis 3  H y p o t h e s i s 3 predicted that a d o p t e e s w h o reported that their h o p e s a n d e x p e c t a t i o n s for the s e a r c h a n d reunion w e r e "satisfied", or "very s a t i s f i e d " w o u l d s c o r e more positively o n the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e , Total Score, than t h o s e a d o p t e e s w h o reported "mixed," "dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied." T o test this hypothesis, a one-way A N O V A w a s performed.  R e s p o n d e n t s w h o reported that they  h a d e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion, G r o u p s 1 a n d 3 c o m b i n e d (n=85; m i s s i n g c a s e s = 1 ; therefore, n=84), w e r e d i v i d e d into 3 groups b a s e d o n how satisfied they w e r e with the results of the reunion. Participants in G r o u p 2 a n d in G r o u p 4 w e r e p e o p l e w h o h a d not yet e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion, therefore, G r o u p 2 a n d G r o u p 4 w e r e not i n c l u d e d in this analysis. T h e first group for this a n a l y s i s c o n s i s t e d of r e s p o n d e n t s w h o reported that the s e a r c h a n d reunion h a d "very satisfied" their h o p e s a n d e x p e c t a t i o n s s o far (n=31). T h e s e c o n d group w a s those respondents w h o reported the s e a r c h a n d reunion h a d "satisfied" their h o p e s a n d expectations s o far (n=26); a n d b e c a u s e there w e r e s o f e w participants w h o reported being dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied, the third g r o u p incorporated all r e s p o n d e n t s who reported the reunion either "neutral/mixed," "dissatisfied," or "very dissatisfied" (n=27) their h o p e s a n d expectations. T h e results of the one-way A N O V A indicated a significant difference in the T o t a l S c o r e s b e t w e e n the "very s a t i s f i e d " group (M=367.58, SD=38.59) a n d the "mixed, dissatisfied, or very d i s s a t i s f i e d " group (M=341.52, SJJ=37.22) (E(2, 81)=4.56, p_= .01). T h e m e a n of the s e c o n d group, participants w h o w e r e "satisfied" (M=355.77, SD=40.57) fell b e t w e e n the m e a n of the "very satisfied" group a n d the "mixed, dissatisfied, or very d i s s a t i s f i e d " group a n d w a s not significantly different than the others. T h e results are in the expected direction, e v e n though they a r e all within the normal limits reported for the T S C S , yet, they only partially support the hypothesis.  74.  T h a t is, the results support the hypothesis that a d o p t e e s w h o reported b e i n g "very s a t i s f i e d " s c o r e d significantly higher o n the T S C S Total S c o r e than t h o s e a d o p t e e s who reported f e e l i n g s that w e r e either "neutral/mixed," "dissatisfied," or "very dissatisfied." However, the results did not support the hypothesis that a d o p t e e s w h o report that the results "satisfied" their h o p e s a n d expectations w o u l d s c o r e h i g h e r than t h o s e w h o reported "neutral/mixed," "dissatisfied," or "very dissatisfied."  Hypothesis 4  T h e s a m e "satisfaction" groups that were a n l a y z e d for H y p o t h e s i s 3 w e r e a l s o c o n s i d e r e d for H y p o t h e s i s 4. It w a s expected that a d o p t e e s w h o reported that their h o p e s a n d e x p e c t a t i o n s for the s e a r c h a n d reunion w e r e "satisfied", or "very satisfied" w o u l d a l s o report a positive effect o n their s e n s e of self c o n c e p t or identity. A n o v e r w h e l m i n g n u m b e r of p e o p l e (88.1%) reported that the s e a r c h a n d r e u n i o n h a d a n effect o n their s e n s e of self concept or identity c o m p a r e d to 1 0 . 7 % w h o reported no effect. O f t h o s e w h o reported that the s e a r c h a n d reunion h a d a n effect, only 5 . 4 % reported that the effect h a d b e e n negative, w h e r e a s 9 0 . 5 % r e p o r t e d the effect o n their self c o n c e p t h a d b e e n positive (4.1 % did not respond). B e c a u s e s o f e w p e o p l e r e p o r t e d that the s e a r c h a n d reunion h a d a negative effect, n o statistical a n a l y s e s w a s p e r f o r m e d to test this hypothesis. T h i s researcher's i m p r e s s i o n w a s that the r e s p o n d e n t s w h o r e p o r t e d a n e g a t i v e effect a l s o reported that the s e a r c h a n d reunion h a d not satisfied their h o p e s a n d expectations. T h e c o m m e n t s m a d e by these respondents g e n e r a l l y i n d i c a t e d that the s e a r c h a n d r e u n i o n h a d turned out differently than they h a d expected, or that their e x p e c t a t i o n s h a d not b e e n fulfilled. M o r e specifically, t h e s e r e s p o n d e n t s  made  c o m m e n t s indicating that they did not get the information a n d help that they h a d w a n t e d during their s e a r c h , or that they didn't get the information they w a n t e d or r e s p o n s e they  75.  e x p e c t e d from their birth relatives o n c e they had contact. T h i s is d i s c u s s e d in more detail, a n d e x a m p l e s of respondents' c o m m e n t s a r e given, in C h a p t e r 5. C o m p a r i s o n of t h e s e respondents who  reported a negative effect indicated that  they w e r e all female b e t w e e n the a g e s of 30 a n d 49, married or living with a significant other a n d most had children. All but one had e x p e r i e n c e d the r e u n i o n within the last y e a r a n d all lived at least a 5 hour drive a w a y from their birth relative. M o s t interestingly though, is that most of these respondents reported that they did not k n o w their e t h n i c heritage. L e s s than 8% reunion  of the total s a m p l e of r e s p o n d e n t s who  had a  (n=85) reported that they did not know their ethnic heritage, yet, 50% of the  r e s p o n d e n t s who  reported a negative effect on their self concept stated that they did  not k n o w their e t h n i c heritage.  Hypothesis 5  T h e fifth h y p o t h e s i s p r e d i c t e d that a d o p t e e s who reported a positive effect o n their s e n s e of self concept or identity w o u l d s c o r e higher on the T S C S , T o t a l S c o r e than t h o s e who  report a negative effect or no effect. T h i s h y p o t h e s i s w a s i n t e n d e d to  test w h e t h e r participants' subjective c l a i m s of a positive effect on their self c o n c e p t w e r e in fact s u b s t a n t i a t e d by an objective measure. A g a i n , b e c a u s e of the difference in the n u m b e r s of participants who  reported a positive effect (n=67) a n d t h o s e that  reported a negative effect (n=4) and no effect (n=9), no a n a l y s i s c o u l d be  completed.  Supplementary Analyses  A d d i t i o n a l a n a l y s e s w e r e conducted to investigate whether there w e r e any significant d i f f e r e n c e s o n the T S C S Total S c o r e b a s e d o n variables, s u c h a s age, c h i l d h o o d relationship with adoptive parents, present relationship with a d o p t i v e  76.  parents, age w h e n b e g a n living with adoptive family, and identity a s an influence to search. In addition, S p e a r m a n Correlation Coefficients w e r e c o m p u t e d a m o n g s o m e of the v a r i a b l e s derived from the b a c k g r o u n d questionnaire s e c t i o n d e a l i n g specifically with the reunion and the T S C S Total Score. The results of e a c h of t h e s e a n a l y s e s are p r e s e n t e d below.  Age  and T S C S Total S c o r e A s was  d i s c u s s e d in C h a p t e r Two,  most theorists a g r e e that self-concept is  d y n a m i c and c h a n g e s throughout the life span. Yet, there may  be particular life stages,  s u c h a s a d o l e s c e n c e , w h e r e the task of identity d e v e l o p m e n t is at the forefront.  For  this reason, the entire study s a m p l e of participants (M=159) w e r e d i v i d e d into six g r o u p s b a s e d on age and their m e a n Total S c o r e s w e r e c o m p a r e d to s e e w h e t h e r there w e r e any differences b e t w e e n them on their m e a n self-concept scores. The first group i n c l u d e d participants a g e d 19 to 24 (n=12) (M=326.33, S_D=49.50), the s e c o n d , participants a g e d 2 5 to 29 (n=42) (M=340.29, £D=47.30), the third, t h o s e a g e d 30 to 39 (n=51) (M=355.27, SD=38.18), the fourth group, participants a g e d 40 to 49 (n=33) (M=356.97, £11=35.13), group five, participants a g e d 50 to 59 (n=16) (M=357.88, SD=41.25), and the last group was  m a d e up of participants a g e d 60 and over  (M=397.00, £0=14.75). A one-way A N O V A was  (n=5)  c o n d u c t e d and significant differences  in the m e a n Total S c o r e s w e r e indicated between group 6 and g r o u p s 1 and 2 (p=.01). T h a t is, the m e a n s c o r e for participants a g e d 60 and over was  significantly higher than  the m e a n s c o r e s for participants in the 19 to 24 age group and for participants in the 25 to 29 age group. A l t h o u g h the number of participants in e a c h of t h e s e g r o u p s was draw reliable conclusions, an interesting trend was  too small to  noted. A n a l y s i s of the m e a n s of all  six age g r o u p s indicated a tendency for the m e a n s to increase as age increased. is illustrated in F i g u r e 1 below.  This  77.  19 to 24  25 to 29  30 to 39  40 to 49  SO to 59  60 & over  Age  R e l a t i o n s h i p with A d o p t i v e P a r e n t s a n d T S C S T o t a l S c o r e A u m e n d a n d Barrett (1984) s u g g e s t that a d o p t e e s w h o s e a r c h for birth relatives h a v e m o r e n e g a t i v e attitudes towards their adoptive p a r e n t s a n d m o r e n e g a t i v e selfc o n c e p t s . T h e present study attempted to a s s e s s the T o t a l S c o r e m e a n s in relation to participants' current a n d c h i l d h o o d relationships with their a d o p t i v e parents. F o r t h e s e a n a l y s e s , participants w e r e d i v i d e d into two groups.  Participants, w h o s c o r e d e q u a l to  or a b o v e the m e d i a n for all participants (M=159) o n the T S C S T o t a l S c o r e (Mdn=356.00) w e r e p l a c e d in o n e group (Q=81 ), a n d participants w h o s e T o t a l S c o r e w a s b e l o w the m e d i a n w e r e p l a c e d in another group (Q=78). T h e s e two g r o u p s w e r e t h e n c o m p a r e d o n h o w they rated their c h i l d h o o d r e l a t i o n s h i p s ( s e e T a b l e 4.9) a n d their current r e l a t i o n s h i p s with their a d o p t i v e parents ( s e e T a b l e 4.10). In both c a s e s , a likert s c a l e of 1 to 5 w a s u s e d for ratings, w h e r e 1 i n d i c a t e d "very c l o s e " a n d 5 i n d i c a t e d "very distant." Table 4.9 Childhood Relationship with Adoptive Parents and TSCS Total Score Total Score >= 356  Total Score < 356  01=81)  (Q=78)  M  1.65  SQ  0.89  * 2-tailed t-test  '  2.24  1.15  l v a l u e (157)  e*  -3.63  .001  78.  A two-tailed t-test indicated a significant difference in how t h e s e two g r o u p s rated their c h i l d h o o d relationships (t= -3.63, p_<.001). T h e g r o u p of participants with Total S c o r e s e q u a l to or a b o v e the m e d i a n ranked their c h i l d h o o d relationship with their a d o p t i v e parents significantly more positively than t h o s e participants with T o t a l S c o r e s b e l o w the median. Nevertheless, both g r o u p s rated their c h i l d h o o d r e l a t i o n s h i p s with their adoptive parents quite positively. T h e a v e r a g e of ratings for the first g r o u p fell about h a l f w a y between "very close", a n d "somewhat close", a n d the a v e r a g e rating for the s e c o n d group w a s between "somewhat c l o s e " a n d "casual, neither c l o s e nor distant". For the a n a l y s i s regarding participants' current relationship with their a d o p t i v e parents, participants w h o h a d at least o n e adoptive parent living, w e r e d i v i d e d into two groups: T h o s e w h o s c o r e d e q u a l to or a b o v e the m e d i a n for all participants (N=159) on the T S C S Total S c o r e (Mdn=356.00) were p l a c e d in o n e g r o u p (n=64), a n d participants w h o s e Total S c o r e w a s below the m e d i a n w e r e p l a c e d in a n o t h e r group (n=66). T h e s e two g r o u p s w e r e then c o m p a r e d o n how they rated their current r e l a t i o n s h i p s with their adoptive parents (see T a b l e 4.10). Table 4.10 Current Relationship with Adoptive Parents and TSCS Total Score Total Score >= 356 (n=64)  Total Score < 356 (11=66)  M  1.94  2.55  SD  1.05  1.35  l v a l u e (128)  -2.86  p*  .005  * 2-tailed t-test  The  results of the two-tailed t-test indicated a significant difference b e t w e e n  t h e s e two g r o u p s (1(128)= -2.86, p_=.005). Similar to above, the g r o u p of participants  79.  with Total S c o r e s e q u a l to or a b o v e the m e d i a n ranked their current relationship with their adoptive parent(s) significantly more positively than t h o s e participants with Total S c o r e s b e l o w the median. Nevertheless, both groups rated their current relationships with their adoptive parents quite positively. T h e a v e r a g e of ratings for the first group fell b e t w e e n "very close", and "somewhat close", and the a v e r a g e rating for the s e c o n d group w a s about halfway between "somewhat c l o s e " and "casual, neither c l o s e nor distant".  A g e w h e n B e g a n Living with A d o p t i v e Family and T S C S Total S c o r e A n a n a l y s i s was c o n d u c t e d comparing the Total S c o r e s of participants b a s e d on w h e n they b e g a n living with their adopted families. B r o d z i n s k y et. al. (1992) a n d A m e s (1996) h a v e s u g g e s t e d that children adopted older, after they h a v e d e v e l o p e d attachments to other caregivers, may h a v e more difficulty r e s o l v i n g the t a s k s related to identity. Therefore, this study was interested in comparing the self-concept s c o r e s b e t w e e n g r o u p s of a d o p t e e s who had b e e n adopted at different ages. F o r this a n a l y s e s , e a c h participant was p l a c e d in one of three groups, d e p e n d i n g on how old they w e r e w h e n they b e g a n living with their a d o p t i v e families. T h e first group i n c l u d e d participants who w e r e l e s s than 3 months o l d w h e n they b e g a n living with their adoptive families (n=87) (M=355.83, STJ=40.23) a n d the s e c o n d group w a s m a d e up of participants who were 3 to 12 months o l d (n=48) (M=343.73, SD=46.40). T h e r e w e r e fewer participants who w e r e in the older groups, s o to m a k e the s i z e of the groups more equal, the third group incorporated all g r o u p s of participants who b e g a n living with their adoptive families w h e n they w e r e more than 12 months o l d (n=21) (M=348.10, SD=42.28). About half of the p e o p l e in this final group w e r e b e t w e e n 1 a n d 2 y e a r s old w h e n they b e g a n living with their a d o p t i v e families, about 4 0 % w e r e 2 to 4 y e a r s old, and the remaining w e r e 5 y e a r s o l d a n d older. A one-  80.  way A N O V A w a s c o n d u c t e d and indicated no significant difference b e t w e e n the m e a n Total S c o r e s of t h e s e three groups (F(2, 153)=1.31; p_=.27).  Identity a s an Influence on the D e c i s i o n to S e a r c h and T S C S T o t a l S c o r e A s p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d , various r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e reported that a d o p t e e s s e a r c h for r e a s o n s related to identity and a "negative self image" (Triseliotis, 1973; S o r o s k y et. al., 1975; S a c h d e v , 1992). T h e final a n a l y s i s c o n s i d e r e d w h e t h e r there w e r e significant differences between participants' self-concept s c o r e s a n d how  they  r a n k e d identity a s an influence on their d e c i s i o n to s e a r c h and/or h a v e a reunion with a birth relative. For this analysis, participants w e r e a g a i n d i v i d e d into two groups:  the  first g r o u p (n=81) i n c l u d e d participants w h o s e Total S c o r e w a s e q u a l to or a b o v e the m e d i a n T o t a l S c o r e (M=356), a n d the s e c o n d group (n=78) i n c l u d e d participants  who  s c o r e s w e r e b e l o w the median. A two-tailed t-test indicated no significant difference b e t w e e n the first group (M=3.21, S_D=2.08) and the s e c o n d g r o u p (M=3.03, S_D=1.84) on the ranks they g a v e to identity a s an influence on their d e c i s i o n (t(157)=0.59, p_=.56). In other words, the group s c o r i n g higher on the T S C S did not rank identity a s an i n f l u e n c e on their d e c i s i o n to s e a r c h any differently than the g r o u p s c o r i n g lower on the T S C S .  C o r r e l a t i o n A m o n g V a r i a b l e s from B a c k g r o u n d Q u e s t i o n n a i r e a n d T S C S T o t a l S c o r e S p e a r m a n correlation coefficients w e r e d e r i v e d a m o n g the T S C S T o t a l Score, time s i n c e first contact with birth relative s e a r c h e d for, amount of current contact with birth relative, d i s t a n c e from birth relative, and amount of time b e t w e e n first contact a n d meeting in person. T h e results are presented b e l o w in T a b l e 4.5.  E x c e p t for the T S C S  T o t a l S c o r e , all v a r i a b l e s w e r e d e r i v e d from the b a c k g r o u n d q u e s t i o n n a i r e s e c t i o n d e a l i n g with reunion. T h i s s e c t i o n was c o m p l e t e d only by r e s p o n d e n t s who  had  c o m p l e t e d a s e a r c h a n d had contact with a birth relative ( G r o u p 1: s e a r c h e r s , post-  81.  r e u n i o n group; n=79) or w h o s e birth relative s e a r c h e d for them a n d they h a d contact ( G r o u p 3: n o n s e a r c h e r s , post-reunion group; Q=6) (n=85, m i s s i n g c a s e s = 1 , therefore 11=84). Table 4.11 Spearman Correlation Coefficients for TSCS Total Score and Variables Derived from Background Questionnaire  1. TSCS Total Score 2. Time since first contact 3. Amount of current contact 4. Distance from birth relative  fc=23*  £s=  -.01  Is=23*  £ = -.12 Is=  -.10  r =.14 s  rs= -.30** £ = -.26* Is=22* Is_ 45***  5. Time between first contact and meeting in person n=84 *rj<.05; **p<.01; ***p_<.001  T h e results of the S p e a r m a n correlational a n a l y s i s indicate a positive relationship b e t w e e n T S C S Total S c o r e a n d the length of time s i n c e first contact, a n d a n e g a t i v e relationship b e t w e e n T S C S Total S c o r e a n d amount of time b e t w e e n first contact a n d meeting in person. In other words, T S C S s c o r e s i n c r e a s e d a s the length of time s i n c e the reunion increased, a n d T S C S s c o r e s d e c r e a s e d a s the a m o u n t of time b e t w e e n the initial contact a n d first meeting in p e r s o n i n c r e a s e d . A positive correlation w a s a l s o indicated between the amount of time b e t w e e n the first contact a n d meeting in person, a n d d i s t a n c e from birth relative. T h i s s u g g e s t s that, the further a w a y p e o p l e w e r e from o n e another, the longer it took for them to meet in p e r s o n after they first m a d e contact. T h e results of the correlational a n a l y s i s a l s o s u g g e s t that the more time it took for p e o p l e to meet in person, a n d the more time that h a d p a s s e d s i n c e the reunion, the l e s s frequent the current contact. In addition, it s e e m s that p e o p l e w h o  82.  m a d e contact more recently took more time between the initial contact a n d meeting in person. T h e s e results will be d e s c r i b e d a n d d i s c u s s e d in more detail in the following chapter.  Summary  T S C S T o t a l S c o r e s w e r e c a l c u l a t e d for e a c h r e s p o n d e n t a s w e r e s c o r e s for the Identity, Family, Self Satisfaction, Self Criticism, Total Conflict, T o t a l Variability a n d P e r s o n a l i t y Integration s u b s c a l e s . Contrary to the hypothesis, no significant d i f f e r e n c e s w e r e found o n a n y of these s c a l e s b e t w e e n the m e a n s c o r e s of a d o p t e e s w h o h a d e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion ( G r o u p 1) a n d those w h o w e r e s e a r c h i n g but h a d not had contact yet ( G r o u p 2). However, a significant difference w a s f o u n d b e t w e e n g r o u p s of r e s p o n d e n t s w h o h a d e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion b a s e d o n h o w satisfied they w e r e with the reunion. Although the majority of respondents reported that the s e a r c h a n d r e u n i o n h a d "satisfied" or "very satisfied" their h o p e s a n d expectations, the m e a n Total S c o r e for respondents who reported being "very s a t i s f i e d " w a s significantly higher than the m e a n s c o r e for the group of respondents w h o reported "neutral/mixed", "dissatisfied", or "very dissatisfied". S o m e significant differences were a l s o found in a n a l y s e s w h i c h w e r e s u p p l e m e n t a r y to the h y p o t h e s e s tested. First, a significant difference w a s f o u n d o n the T S C S T o t a l S c o r e b e t w e e n the group of respondents over the a g e of 6 0 a n d t h o s e a g e d 19 to 2 4 a n d those a g e d 2 5 to 29. Although the n u m b e r of participants in e a c h of t h e s e g r o u p s w a s too small to draw reliable c o n c l u s i o n s , the trend w a s for s c o r e s to i n c r e a s e a s a g e increased. S e c o n d , it w a s found that overall, participants rated their r e l a t i o n s h i p s with their adoptive parents quite positively. However, r e s p o n d e n t s w h o s c o r e d e q u a l to or a b o v e the m e d i a n Total S c o r e rated their c h i l d h o o d relationship a n d their current relationship with their adoptive parent(s) higher than participants w h o  83.  s c o r e d b e l o w the m e d i a n o n the T S C S Total Score. A n d third, a n a l y s i s c o m p a r i n g the m e a n T o t a l S c o r e s of participants who were l e s s than 3 months o l d w h e n they b e g a n living with their adoptive families to those that w e r e 3 to 2 4 months old, a l s o i n d i c a t e d a significant difference, with those who were l e s s than 3 months old s c o r i n g significantly higher. T h e information o b t a i n e d from the b a c k g r o u n d q u e s t i o n n a i r e w a s s u m m a r i z e d overall, for all participants, a n d separately c o m p a r i n g G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2. G r o u p 1 a n d G r o u p 2 w e r e fairly similar in d e m o g r a p h i c characteristics with a f e w exceptions, s u c h a s the age, relationship status, a n d the a g e w h i c h they b e g a n living with their a d o p t i v e families. Generally, G r o u p 2 i n c l u d e d y o u n g e r r e s p o n d e n t s , m o r e w h o d i d not h a v e c h i l d r e n a n d w e r e not in relationships, a n d more r e s p o n d e n t s w h o b e g a n living with their adoptive families at a y o u n g e r age. T h e b a c k g r o u n d q u e s t i o n n a i r e w a s a l s o s u m m a r i z e d by correlating T S C S Totals S c o r e s a n d s o m e of the v a r i a b l e s d e r i v e d from the b a c k g r o u n d questionnaire regarding contact. T h e s e correlations a n d the results of all a n a l y s e s performed will be d i s c u s s e d in further detail in the following chapter.  84.  CHAPTER V Discussion  T h e primary a i m of this study w a s to e x a m i n e w h e t h e r a d o p t e e s w h o h a d e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion with a birth relative w o u l d s c o r e more positively o n a m e a s u r e of self-concept than a d o p t e e s w h o h a d not e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion. T h e study intended to c o m p a r e s e a r c h i n g pre-reunion a n d post-reunion a d o p t e e s a n d n o n s e a r c h i n g prer e u n i o n a n d post-reunion adoptees.  Unfortunately, there w e r e f e w r e s p o n d e n t s w h o  identified t h e m s e l v e s a s nonsearchers, s o a n a l y s e s of the h y p o t h e s e s f o c u s e d o n s e a r c h i n g a d o p t e e s only. However, respondents w h o indicated they w e r e n o n s e a r c h e r s w e r e i n c l u d e d in s o m e of the preliminary a n d s u p p l e m e n t a r y a n a l y s e s . C o n t r a r y to expectation, the results of the study indicated n o d i f f e r e n c e s o n selfc o n c e p t s c o r e s b e t w e e n reunited a n d s e a r c h i n g adoptees.  T h a t is, the self c o n c e p t  s c o r e s of a d o p t e e s w h o e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion w e r e no different than t h o s e w h o w e r e still s e a r c h i n g a n d awaiting a reunion. In addition, the m e a n s c o r e s of a d o p t e e s in this study w e r e within the limits reported for T S C S norms for the g e n e r a l population. T h i s w o u l d s e e m to indicate that a s a group, a d o p t e e s do not differ in self c o n c e p t from the g e n e r a l p o p u l a t i o n a n d a l s o that reunions do not influence the self c o n c e p t of adult adoptees. T h e r e is only o n e other study in the literature that h a s u s e d a s t a n d a r d i z e d m e a s u r e to c o m p a r e the self concept of a d o p t e e s w h o h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d a r e u n i o n to t h o s e that h a v e not. Like the present study, A u m e n d a n d Barrett (1984) t e s t e d a d o p t e e s that w e r e affiliated with s e a r c h groups or adoption a g e n c i e s . T h e y a l s o u s e d the s a m e m e a s u r e u s e d in the present study, the T S C S . A u m e n d a n d Barrett (1984) c o m p a r e d 19 pre-reunion a n d 14 post-reunion a d o p t e e s a n d f o u n d n o significant d i f f e r e n c e s in self concept b e t w e e n these groups. U n l i k e the present study, A u m e n d a n d Barrett a l s o t e s t e d 4 7 a d o p t e e s w h o identified t h e m s e l v e s a s n o n s e a r c h e r s in  85.  addition to the 66 a d o p t e e s who  identified t h e m s e l v e s as searchers. A l t h o u g h there  w e r e d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n them, the majority of a d o p t e e s in their study s c o r e d a b o v e the m e a n reported for the general population. A u m e n d and Barrett (1984) c o n c l u d e d that the a d o p t e e s in their study did not have negative self-concepts and, moreover, that r e u n i o n s d i d not m a k e a significant difference to the self c o n c e p t of a d o p t e e s . T h e findings of the present study are similar to t h o s e of A u m e n d and Barrett (1984) a n d s e e m to support their findings and those of other r e s e a r c h e r s (Stein & H o o p e s , 1985; N o r v e l l & Guy, 1977; A u m e n d & Barrett, 1984) that s u g g e s t that a d o p t e e s may  not be more vulnerable to identity conflicts and do not n e e d information  about their birth f a m i l i e s in order to d e v e l o p a positive self-concept. N e v e r t h e l e s s , in the present study, the information o b t a i n e d from the s t a n d a r d i z e d m e a s u r e of self-concept d o e s not match the participants' self-perceptions a n d e x p e r i e n c e s reported in the b a c k g r o u n d questionnaire. T h e self-reports of the participants i n d i c a t e d that the majority of the r e s p o n d e n t s w e r e motivated to s e a r c h for r e a s o n s related to identity, and over 8 8 % of the a d o p t e e s who  had e x p e r i e n c e d  a  reunion reported that it did h a v e an effect on their self-concept. F o r example, r e g a r d i n g his expectations for a reunion, an a d o p t e e in his sixties wrote, "To learn I really was -- what my roots were." Other a d o p t e e s in the study reiterated this sentiment with c o m m e n t s s u c h as, I h o p e to feel more complete about who I am. I h o p e to learn more about my [birth] parents in order to u n d e r s t a n d more about myself. T o d i s c o v e r who  I am.  S o m e s e n s e of self and closure about who  I am.  I want the history of life that all n o n a d o p t e d p e o p l e take for granted. T o feel more s e c u r e in my identity/ancestry.  who  86.  T o find my own identity and heritage. G e t t i n g to k n o w the m i s s i n g part of my life. Filling the v o i d of w o n d e r i n g how and w h e r e my traits c o m e from. M a n y of the a d o p t e e s who  had already e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion s h a r e d their  e x p e r i e n c e s of the reunion and the effect that they felt it had on them. I feel like a w h o l e or complete p e r s o n for the first time in my life a n d I am a more s e c u r e and confident p e r s o n ... Without k n o w i n g w h e r e we c o m e from and our b a c k g r o u n d s a n d h a v i n g m a n y a s p e c t s of our personalities c o n n e c t e d to others, we cannot m o v e forward. I n e e d e d to know my history a s well a s my m e d i c a l b a c k g r o u n d a n d someone, anyone, who l o o k e d like me ... I h a v e g a i n e d a certain p e a c e of mind knowing my birthmother ... in s o m e ways, it is tough to know how to feel about this new p e r s o n in my life. M a n y questions h a v e b e e n a n s w e r e d about myself, but many more h a v e c o m e up b e c a u s e of the reunion. [It has] filled what I p e r c e i v e d as a 'hole' in my life - f e e l i n g that s o m e parts of me w e r e secret or u n a c c e p t a b l e ... I feel l e s s like a 'ghost' in my own life. G r o w i n g up, not knowing a single blood relative is very hard. I w a s a l w a y s loved a s a child, being adopted was never a big i s s u e but o n c e I found out and wrote to my birth mother I felt more fulfilled, more w h o l e ... I know that I h a v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s like my [birth] mother and my half sister. I u n d e r s t a n d more about myself now. W h e n y o u are adopted and you haven't had a reunion it is like y o u are putting together a p u z z l e without the box lid to s e e what the f i n i s h e d product will be. A s the p u z z l e is almost finished, one p i e c e is missing, the f a c e of the p e r s o n in the puzzle. W h e n y o u h a v e a r e u n i o n a n d y o u learn about your heritage, characteristics, etc., that p i e c e is completed and you finally s e e the full picture of who you are. It is difficult to d i s r e g a r d t h e s e poignant accounts, e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e reports s u c h a s t h e s e w e r e so p e r v a s i v e a m o n g the respondents of this study. Other studies, too, h a v e a l s o reported similar c o m m e n t s from their participants. In fact, most of the s t u d i e s  87.  that h a v e relied on the self-reports of a d o p t e e s h a v e c o n c l u d e d that a d o p t e e s  seek  information o n their birth history for r e a s o n s related to identity a n d that the r e u n i o n i n c r e a s e d their s e n s e of self (Triseliotis, 1973; S o r o s k y et. al. 1975; Day, 1979; Depp, 1982; Dukette, 1984; A n d e r s o n , 1989; Campbell, Silverman, & Patti, 1991; S a c h d e v , 1992; S u l l i v a n & G r o d e n , 1995). T h e most recent of t h e s e studies, a s u r v e y by S u l l i v a n a n d G r o d e n (1995) c o n d u c t e d on behalf of the Ministry of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s , in the p r o v i n c e of B.C., reported that 7 7 % of the a d o p t e e s who r e s p o n d e d s a i d that the r e u n i o n h a d m a d e a difference for them. Like the present study, S u l l i v a n a n d G r o d e n (1995) f o u n d that the r e s p o n s e s were almost unanimously positive, a n d the c o m m e n t s f o c u s e d on f e e l i n g s of "completeness" due to the acquisition of a genetic, a n d a n c e s t r a l history. In light of all this, how d o e s one explain the o b v i o u s contradiction b e t w e e n the self-reports of participants in this study a n d the results o b t a i n e d from the s t a n d a r d i z e d test of self-concept? T h e most obvious explanation c o u l d be related to the most o b v i o u s limitation of this study. Like most r e s e a r c h in this area, the p r e s e n t study relied on v o l u n t e e r s who w e r e m e m b e r s of local o r g a n i z a t i o n s that promote the reform of current a d o p t i o n practices. T h e s e organizations h a v e b e e n active in l o b b y i n g for o p e n records; therefore, it is likely that most of the participants of this study w e r e p e o p l e who a g r e e with more o p e n n e s s in adoption for v a r i o u s r e a s o n s , including a belief that r e u n i o n s will i n c r e a s e the adoptee's s e n s e of identity. T h i s belief may  have  b i a s e d the c o m m e n t s e x p r e s s e d by participants in this study r e g a r d i n g the benefits of r e u n i o n s a n d contact with birth relatives. N o n e t h e l e s s , this b i a s w a s p e r h a p s slightly r e d u c e d in the S u l l i v a n a n d G r o d e n (1995) study b e c a u s e they s u r v e y e d not o n l y a d o p t e e s who  h a d s e a r c h e d , but a l s o those that had not s e a r c h e d but h a d b e e n sought  out by birth relatives. E v e n in their study, the majority of a d o p t e e s s u r v e y e d indicated that the r e u n i o n had affected their feelings about t h e m s e l v e s a n d 9 5 % of them s a i d they w o u l d r e c o m m e n d reunions to others (Sullivan & G r o d e n , 1995).  88.  Therefore, there s e e m s to be more than s a m p l i n g b i a s i n v o l v e d in this d i s c r e p a n c y b e t w e e n the self-reports of a d o p t e e s a n d their s t a n d a r d i z e d s c o r e s of selfconcept. P e r h a p s another explanation may be d e r i v e d by c l o s e r e x a m i n a t i o n of the d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n s e a r c h i n g a n d n o n s e a r c h i n g adoptees. Unfortunately, the p r e s e n t study w a s not a b l e to m a k e any c o m p a r i s o n s b e t w e e n s e a r c h e r s a n d n o n s e a r c h e r s b e c a u s e of the insufficient n u m b e r s of participants who identified t h e m s e l v e s a s n o n s e a r c h e r s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , other studies h a v e resulted in significant findings. V a r i o u s s t u d i e s h a v e found that s e a r c h e r s a n d n o n s e a r c h e r s vary from o n e another (Triseliotis, 1973; Dukette, 1975; Smith, 1976; A u m e n d & Barrett, 1984; S t e i n & H o o p e s , 1985). F o r example, although A u m e n d a n d Barrett (1984) f o u n d that both g r o u p s of a d o p t e e s in their study had positive self-concepts, they f o u n d that the n o n s e a r c h e r s self-concept s c o r e s were significantly higher than t h o s e of the s e a r c h e r s . Moreover, the n o n s e a r c h e r s had significantly less c o n c e r n about their own  background.  C o n s e q u e n t l y , it may b e that t h o s e a d o p t e e s who s e a r c h a r e t h o s e who v a l u e k n o w i n g about their p e r s o n a l history, a n d who want to h a v e a more thorough u n d e r s t a n d i n g of their p l a c e in the "grand s c h e m e " of life. P e r h a p s t h e s e p e o p l e more strongly v a l u e that element of self-concept that E r i k s o n d e s c r i b e s a s a f e e l i n g of c o n n e c t e d n e s s b e t w e e n one's past, present a n d future a n d "an u n c o n s c i o u s striving for a continuity of p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r " (Erikson, 1950, p. 261). A n o t h e r possibility, a l o n g t h e s e s a m e lines, is that t h e s e a d o p t e e s h a v e d e v e l o p e d their s e n s e of self in the more predominant a n d socially e n c o u r a g e d  mode  b a s e d on individuation a n d autonomy, rather than on c o n n e c t i o n a n d attachment which may h a v e c o m e more naturally to them. A s previously d i s c u s s e d in C h a p t e r  Two,  Erikson's m o d e l of identity d e v e l o p m e n t h a s h a d m u c h influence o n s h a p i n g the u n d e r s t a n d i n g of identity d e v e l o p m e n t a n d consequently, the b e h a v i o u r s u s e d to m e a s u r e identity development.  T h i s model is b a s e d on the s u c c e s s f u l a c h i e v e m e n t of  individuation a n d autonomy. G i l l i g a n (1982) maintains that Erikson's m o d e l is more  89.  m a l e d o m i n a n t a n d s h e a r g u e s for another model of identity d e v e l o p m e n t w h i c h may be more a p p l i c a b l e to women, o n e that is b a s e d o n connection, relationships, a n d attachment to others. T h i s type of model may a l s o be more a p p l i c a b l e to a d o p t e e s w h o s e a r c h . T h a t is, w o m e n tend to s e a r c h for birth relatives more than m e n do, a n d w o m e n m a k e up the majority of participants in most s t u d i e s related to s e a r c h i n g ( G l a d s t o n e & W e s t h u e s , 1994; Triseliotis, 1973). Both w e r e a l s o true in the present study. T h e c o n s i s t e n c y of this g e n d e r pattern may s u g g e s t that Gilligan's m o d e l m a y be more a p p l i c a b l e to s e a r c h i n g adoptees. A l t h o u g h t h e s e a d o p t e e s h a v e b e e n s u c c e s s f u l in d e v e l o p i n g their identity through individuation a n d autonomy, perhaps, it w o u l d h a v e b e e n more natural for them to define their s e n s e of self through c o n n e c t i o n a n d attachment with others. Although most n o n a d o p t e d p e o p l e ultimately c a n d o both, d e v e l o p their s e n s e of self b a s e d o n their attachment to significant others a n d a l s o gain autonomy, a d o p t e e s typically h a v e not h a d the opportunity to d e v e l o p s o m e of t h e s e s a m e attachments.  T h i s m a y e x p l a i n w h y they feel there a r e "gaps" or "holes" in their  s e n s e of self. T h e s e e x p l a n a t i o n s for the d i s c r e p a n c y b e t w e e n the participants' self-reports a n d their s c o r e s o n the T S C S h a v e f o c u s e d o n what may h a v e b e e n h a p p e n i n g for the a d o p t e e s in this study. However, a thorough examination of e x p l a n a t i o n s must a l s o c o n s i d e r the other factors involved, that is, the a s s e s s m e n t m e a s u r e that w a s used. A s w a s p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d in C h a p t e r Two, s o m e critics of the T S C S h a v e q u e s t i o n e d its applicability to different g r o u p s of people. T h e s e a r g u m e n t s h a v e g e n e r a l l y f o c u s e d on the T S C S norms a n d their generalizability a c r o s s cultures, genders, a g e groups, a n d different s o c i o e c o n o m i c levels. Participants of the present study s c o r e d well within the n o r m s p r o v i d e d for the T S C S , therefore, the norms may not n e c e s s a r i l y b e the i s s u e for t h e s e g r o u p s of participants. Rather, the q u e s t i o n of applicability of this test for a d o p t e e s might f o c u s more o n the actual questions of the test a n d h o w the m e a s u r e o p e r a t i o n a l i z e s self-concept. For example, although a d o p t e e s in this s a m p l e s c o r e d  90.  within the n o r m s on the F a m i l y S u b s c a l e , v a r i o u s r e s p o n d e n t s m a d e c o m m e n t s or clarified their r e s p o n s e s to test statements which included the w o r d "family," including s t a t e m e n t s s u c h a s "I u n d e r s t a n d my family a s well a s I should," or "I take a real interest in my family." T h e r e a p p e a r e d to be c o n f u s i o n on the part of s o m e r e s p o n d e n t s of who, or w h i c h "family," the test w a s referring to. In addition, the q u e s t i o n s o n "family," a n d most other q u e s t i o n s a s well, w e r e quite g e n e r a l ;  perhaps  too g e n e r a l to tap into s o m e element of self concept that may b e s p e c i f i c to adoptees. F o r instance, B r o d z i n s k y et. al. (1992) point out that identifying with role m o d e l s in middle c h i l d h o o d a n d feeling a s e n s e of "sameness" with others is a n important p r e c u r s o r to a n s w e r i n g the q u e s t i o n "Who am I?" Therefore, p e r h a p s m o r e information about h o w a d o p t e e s s e e t h e m s e l v e s a n d d e v e l o p their s e n s e of self c o n c e p t c o u l d be p r o v i d e d if statements that were more specific w e r e to be i n c l u d e d in the measure. In other words, p e r h a p s the T S C S w o u l d b e more thorough in m e a s u r i n g the self-concept of a d o p t e e s if it included statements s u c h as, "I w i s h I l o o k e d more like o t h e r s in my family," "I a m different than other p e o p l e in my family," or e v e n "I don't k n o w a s m u c h about my heritage a s I would like to." It might be beneficial to c o n d u c t m o r e r e s e a r c h o n the validity of the d i m e n s i o n s of self-concept of the T S C S in g e n e r a l , a n d m o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y h o w it a p p l i e s to p e o p l e who w e r e adopted, a n d whether the T S C S norms are a p p l i c a b l e to adoptees. Until this is done, it may b e premature to d r a w a n y firm c o n c l u s i o n s r e g a r d i n g the self-concept of a d o p t e e s b a s e d o n their s c o r e s o n this measure.  Other Findings B e s i d e s e x a m i n i n g the differences in self-concept b e t w e e n pre-reunion a n d post-reunion g r o u p s of adoptees, this study a l s o l o o k e d for d i f f e r e n c e s within the groups. Specifically, a n a l y s e s w e r e c o n d u c t e d a m o n g s t the group of participants w h o h a d e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion in order to better understand the influence of the r e u n i o n on  91.  them. A s a l r e a d y d i s c u s s e d , over 8 8 % of post-reunion a d o p t e e s reported that the s e a r c h a n d r e u n i o n h a d affected their self-concept a n d they a l m o s t u n a n i m o u s l y reported that the effect had b e e n positive and that knowing what they now  knew, they  w o u l d still c h o o s e to do it again. T h e s e findings are strongly s u p p o r t e d by t h o s e of S a c h d e v (1992) a n d S u l l i v a n and G r o d e n (1995). S a c h d e v (1992) reported that approximately 9 4 % of the participants in his study had no regrets about g o i n g through with a reunion. And, in S u l l i v a n and Groden's (1995) survey of 476  post-reunion  a d o p t e e s , 9 7 % of the r e s p o n d e n t s reported that they w e r e g l a d that they went through with the reunion a n d 9 5 % s a i d they w o u l d do it again. T h e a d o p t e e s in S u l l i v a n and Groden's (1995) study identified s o m e difficulties a n d d i s a d v a n t a g e s a s s o c i a t e d with the reunion, s u c h a s "disappointment  related to the relinquishment of a fantasy,  f e e l i n g s of intrusion in negotiating a relationship with strangers who  may  expect more  intimacy s o o n e r than is comfortable, upsetting d y n a m i c s within the a d o p t i v e family" a n d "the waiting period prior to reunion and the adjustment period that a c c o m p a n i e d the negotiation of r o l e s and relationships afterward" (p.26-27). R e s p o n d e n t s a l s o c o m m e n t e d that "the hardest part [of the process] was m a k i n g the d e c i s i o n to go a h e a d with the reunion" a n d that "the first meeting was a s o u r c e of c o n s i d e r a b l e anxiety" (p. 28). N e v e r t h e l e s s , the g e n e r a l c o n c l u s i o n that c a n be r e a c h e d from t h e s e s t u d i e s is that, for most adoptees, the a d v a n t a g e s of the e x p e r i e n c e of reunion outweigh the disadvantages. S u l l i v a n a n d G r o d e n (1995) reported that the first meeting in a reunion c a n c r e a t e m u c h anxiety for those involved. The present study a l s o p r o v i d e d s o m e interesting information regarding these first contacts. For example, a n e g a t i v e relationship w a s i n d i c a t e d b e t w e e n s c o r e s on the T S C S a n d the a m o u n t of time it took for p e o p l e to meet in p e r s o n after they first m a d e contact. In other words, the higher the T S C S score, the l e s s time p e o p l e took before they met in person, or the m o r e time p e o p l e took to meet in person, the lower their self-concept score. T h e r e a r e likely  92.  m a n y w a y s of interpreting this, but in light of the information o b t a i n e d from S u l l i v a n a n d G r o d e n (1995), p e r h a p s the most o b v i o u s explanation for this relationship is that the p e o p l e with m o r e positive self-concepts w e r e a b l e to o v e r c o m e their anxiety m o r e e a s i l y a n d to p r o c e e d more quickly to a meeting. P e r h a p s the others took more time to get to k n o w o n e another, to feel more comfortable with e a c h other a n d to p r e p a r e for the meeting. T h e present study a l s o s e e m e d to indicate a relationship b e t w e e n w h e n the r e u n i o n o c c u r r e d a n d h o w m u c h time it took p e o p l e to meet in p e r s o n . It s e e m e d that the m o r e recent the reunion, the more time p e o p l e h a d t a k e n to meet in person. T h i s finding w a s not surprising. A s people h a v e l e a r n e d more about the complexity of the r e l a t i o n s h i p s a n d f e e l i n g s that surround reunions, they h a v e s e e n the benefits of taking things slowly. It is more common, now, for c o u n s e l l o r s a n d support g r o u p s for t h o s e e x p e r i e n c i n g a reunion, to a d v i s e p e o p l e to take s o m e time before they meet in person. C o u n s e l l o r s often s u g g e s t that p e o p l e begin by writing letters to o n e another, e x c h a n g i n g photos a n d information slowly, then m o v e o n to talking o n the phone, a n d eventually p l a n to meet in p e r s o n w h e n both parties feel ready. T h e p r o c e s s leading up to the meeting a l s o s e e m e d to h a v e a n effect o n the long term a m o u n t of contact that people c o n t i n u e d to have. T h a t is, there a p p e a r e d to be a relationship b e t w e e n the amount of time it took for p e o p l e to meet in p e r s o n after t h e y first m a d e contact a n d the amount of contact they h a d currently. T h e findings of the study indicated that the more time it took for p e o p l e to meet in person, t h e l e s s frequent their current contact. O n e c o u l d m a k e v a r i o u s s p e c u l a t i o n s o n the r e a s o n s for this. However, the study a l s o indicated another relationship w h i c h might e x p l a i n this; there w a s a significant a s s o c i a t i o n between the amount of time it took p e o p l e to meet in p e r s o n a n d the a m o u n t of travelling d i s t a n c e b e t w e e n them. T h a t is, the further a w a y p e o p l e lived from o n e another, the more time p a s s e d before they met in person. T h i s w a s not s u r p r i s i n g s i n c e it is o b v i o u s that the further a w a y p e o p l e are, the more  93.  practical c o n s i d e r a t i o n s and planning are involved in order to meet. It is likely that a s d i s t a n c e w a s a factor for the first meeting, it continued to be a factor throughout the relationship. T h a t is, the g e o g r a p h i c d i s t a n c e or the cost of transportation may  have  d e t r a c t e d from the amount of contact that a d o p t e e s had with their birth relatives ( G l a d s t o n e & W e s t h u e s , 1994). N e v e r t h e l e s s , r e g a r d l e s s of the distance, the findings of the p r e s e n t study s e e m e d to indicate that the more time that had p a s s e d s i n c e the reunion, the l e s s frequent the contact b e t w e e n the a d o p t e e s and the birth relative they s e a r c h e d for and/or first h a d contact with. T h e r e is very little r e s e a r c h on the o u t c o m e s of reunions a n d the relationships that are formed from them. However, s o m e p e o p l e who work in the field h a v e n o t i c e d a trend in the reunions they h a v e observed.  Initially, it s e e m s  that the r e u n i o n "takes over" people's lives and they s p e n d most of their time either thinking about the other p e r s o n or h a v i n g contact with them. P e o p l e a r e typically e x c i t e d about the reunion and want to s p e n d as m u c h time a s they c a n s h a r i n g stories a n d getting to k n o w one another. Eventually though, one or both parties may  become  o v e r w h e l m e d a n d feel the n e e d to d i s t a n c e for a while in order to absord, p r o c e s s and integrate the w h o l e experience. P e o p l e then usually m o v e into the s t a g e in their relationship w h e r e they must mutually sort out and "negotiate" their roles a n d the type of relationship they want to have. T h i s c a n be a difficult time a n d often the relationship is t e s t e d at this stage, but eventually, people will d e c i d e to either e n d the relationship or to m o v e a h e a d with it, and work at integrating it into the rest of their lives. T h e s e s t a g e s vary a n d the amount of time to m o v e through them a l s o v a r i e s from r e u n i o n to reunion. However, it usually m e a n s that, at s o m e point in the relationship, the amount of contact p e o p l e h a v e will diminish from the amount they typically h a d at the b e g i n n i n g of the reunion. T h e r e w a s one final correlation from the findings of this study that is worth noting. T h e results of the a n a l y s i s on the postreunion a d o p t e e s indicated that there  94.  w a s a n a s s o c i a t i o n b e t w e e n adoptees' s c o r e s on the the T S C S a n d h o w long it h a d b e e n s i n c e they h a d e x p e r i e n c e d the reunion. T h e more time that h a d p a s s e d s i n c e the reunion, the higher their self-concept score. A p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n for this is that, a s d i s c u s s e d above, the more time that h a d p a s s e d s i n c e the reunion, the more likely that the a d o p t e e s h a d obtained relevent information from their birth p a r e n t s a n d integrated it into their s e n s e of self. T h i s finding is interesting, e s p e c i a l l y in light of the finding that there w a s no difference in self-concept s c o r e s b e t w e e n the g r o u p of a d o p t e e s w h o h a d not e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion a n d the group of t h o s e that had.  This  finding might s u g g e s t that the amount of time s i n c e a reunion might b e a v a r i a b l e in a s s e s s i n g w h e t h e r or not reunions h a v e a n effect o n adoptees' self concept. Unfortunately, this study w a s limited in that it did not differentiate b e t w e e n a d o p t e e s b a s e d o n h o w long it h a d b e e n s i n c e their reunion; it g r o u p e d all post-reunion a d o p t e e s into o n e group, r e g a r d l e s s of whether they h a d e x p e r i e n c e d a r e u n i o n a month a g o or a f e w y e a r s ago.  It is suggested, then, that future r e s e a r c h b e c o n d u c t e d  c o m p a r i n g the self-concept of a d o p t e e s at different time intervals after the s e a r c h a n d reunion. In this way, o n e might be a b l e to determine whether self-concept is affected at different s t a g e s of the reunion process. T h e finding of a n a s s o c i a t i o n between time s i n c e reunion a n d s c o r e s o n the T S C S may h a v e b e e n c o n f o u n d e d by the a g e s of the adoptee. T h i s study did not look at the relationship b e t w e e n the a g e s of the post-reunion a d o p t e e s a n d w h e n they h a d their reunion, however, it d i d note that all a d o p t e e s over the a g e of 6 0 w e r e in G r o u p 1, the post-reunion group, a n d c o m m o n s e n s e would s a y that t h e s e a d o p t e e s w o u l d h a v e b e e n reunited longer than the y o u n g e r adoptees.  T h i s study found that a d o p t e e s over  the a g e of 6 0 s c o r e d significantly higher than a d o p t e e s in their 20's (pre-reunion a n d post-reunion a d o p t e e s c o m b i n e d ) a n d there w a s a noted trend for T S C S s c o r e s to i n c r e a s e a s a g e i n c r e a s e d . F r o m this study, it is difficult to d r a w a n y c o n c l u s i o n s a s to w h e t h e r the s c o r e s for a d o p t e e s over a g e 6 0 were higher b e c a u s e they h a d b e e n  95  reunited with birth relatives for a longer period. It s h o u l d a l s o b e noted that the s a m p l e of a d o p t e e s over the a g e of 6 0 w a s a l s o too small to reliably c o n c l u d e that there in fact w a s a significant difference between the self-concept s c o r e s of a d o p t e e s o v e r the a g e of 6 0 a n d t h o s e in their 2 0 s . T h e r e is o n e final finding from the a n a l y s e s o n post-reunion a d o p t e e s that d e s e r v e s d i s c u s s i o n before moving o n to more g e n e r a l f i n d i n g s d e r i v e d from the entire s a m p l e of a d o p t e e s in this study. A m o n g s t a d o p t e e s w h o h a d e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion, the results s e e m to indicate that overall, adoptees' h o p e s a n d e x p e c t a t i o n s for the r e u n i o n h a d b e e n fulfilled. T h e majority of respondents indicated satisfaction with the r e u n i o n a n d l e s s than 5 % of the post-reunion a d o p t e e s indicated b e i n g " d i s s a t i s f i e d " or "very dissatisfied," a n d 2 7 % indicated "neutral/mixed." A l t h o u g h other s t u d i e s h a v e a l s o reported that a d o p t e e s h a v e generally b e e n satisfied with the results of their r e u n i o n a n d that it h a d a positive effect o n their s e n s e of identity or self-concept ( S a c h d e v , 1992; G l a d s t o n e & W e s t h u e s , 1994; S u l l i v a n & G r o d e n , 1995), n o n e of t h e s e s t u d i e s c o m p a r e d adoptees' level of satisfaction with their s c o r e s o n a s t a n d a r d i z e d m e a s u r e of self-concept. T h e present study attempted to d o this a n d the findings indicated that there w a s a difference in self-concept s c o r e s a m o n g s t the group of post-reunion a d o p t e e s b a s e d o n how satisfied they w e r e with the reunion. A l t h o u g h the s c o r e s w e r e well within the normal limits, the T S C S s c o r e s for a d o p t e e s w h o reported that the s e a r c h a n d reunion h a d "very s a t i s f i e d " their h o p e s a n d e x p e c t a t i o n s w e r e significantly higher than the s c o r e s for a d o p t e e s w h o reported "neutral/mixed," "dissatisfied," or "very dissatisfied." A n examination of the r e s p o n d e n t s w h o w e r e less than satisfied did not r e v e a l a n y o b v i o u s similarities b e t w e e n them o n d e m o g r a p h i c characteristics a n d their c o m m e n t s o n their e x p e r i e n c e s a l s o varied. S o m e indicated that the information or reaction they r e c e i v e d from their birth relatives h a d b e e n less than they expected or h a d m a d e them feel badly. F o r example, o n e r e s p o n d e n t wrote  96.  It w a s e x p l a i n e d that I w a s to just get over it a n d go on with my life ... M y reunion w a s very d a m a g i n g a n d is w o r s e than not k n o w i n g ... A n o t h e r r e s p o n d e n t wrote that the effect on her s e n s e of self c o n c e p t h a d b e e n n e g a t i v e b e c a u s e of "the attitude" s h e encountered. I can't be part of the family or [have] the rest k n o w about me ... my e x p e r i e n c e is it a l w a y s s e e m s I'm on the o u t s i d e looking in a n d I w o u l d like to feel included naturally. A n d others said, My birth mother w a s very s h o c k e d to get a call from me, s h e didn't u n d e r s t a n d how I f o u n d her. I f o u n d out what I n e e d e d to k n o w but I f o u n d her attitude disappointing, it w a s quite negative. [It h a s been] positive in the s e n s e of ethnic background, identity. N e g a t i v e b e c a u s e birth mother w a s r a p e d s o s e n s e of "why am I here" still exists somewhat. It's not what I expected. I e x p e c t e d a family like I w a s r a i s e d with. O t h e r s stated disappointment with the current adoption laws on d i s c l o s u r e a n d the effects it h a d on them acquiring the information they w a n t e d or that b e c a u s e of how difficult it w a s to s e a r c h , w h e n they finally m a d e contact with birth relatives, s o m e significant m e m b e r s h a d p a s s e d away. My u n c l e p a s s e d a w a y one month before I found him. I've b e e n s e a r c h i n g for 21 y e a r s now. It's a long a n d difficult p r o c e s s . Hopefully the g o v e r n m e n t s will c h a n g e the policies. I only w i s h I w o u l d h a v e started my s e a r c h earlier. I r e c e i v e d o n e letter from my birth aunt... Unfortunately s h e p a s s e d a w a y before s h e r e c e i v e d my letter a n d I feel like I m i s s e d out on meeting a really wonderful person. A n d finally, s o m e participants m a d e c o m m e n t s about the reunion relationships a n d the effects o n them. F o r instance, I h a v e f o u n d my reunion to be a positive e x p e r i e n c e for the most part. E v e n after 4 y e a r s I feel that I am struggling with my birth mother to define our relationship in a way that e a c h of us w o u l d  97.  feel satisfied. ... I w a s quite fortunate with my s e a r c h and reunion, however, I still h a v e big feelings/issues around the experience, a s I do about my e x p e r i e n c e a s an adoptee. I think everyone's e x p e r i e n c e is unique ... I h a v e g a i n e d a certain p e a c e of mind knowing my birth mom. However, there are times w h e n I don't know how s h e fits into my life. I s o m e t i m e s want to ask her q u e s t i o n s about her that might help me understand me more. But I a l s o stop myself from b e c o m i n g c l o s e r to her than my adoptive parents. It c a n be a touchy situation. ... A l t h o u g h it has b e e n a n overwhelmingly positive e x p e r i e n c e a n d one full of p e r s o n a l growth, it has a l s o b e e n very e m o t i o n a l l y taxing. In my case, my adoptive parents h a v e had a very difficult time c o m i n g t o terms with the situation w h i c h h a s b e e n difficult for me to handle a n d adjust to. I b e l i e v e family d y n a m i c s in a d o p t i v e families c a n be very unhealthy if f o u n d e d u p o n the s e c r e t s i m p o s e d by the c l o s e d adoption system. At this point, there are no c o n c l u s i v e explanations for the d i f f e r e n c e in self-concept s c o r e s b e t w e e n a d o p t e e s w h o s e reunion had "very satisfied" their h o p e s a n d e x p e c t a t i o n s a n d t h o s e a d o p t e e s who felt less satisfied. A s G l a d s t o n e a n d W e s t h u e s (1994) suggest, more s t u d i e s are n e e d e d on the o u t c o m e s of reunions, a n d the relationships that are formed from them. In addition, the findings of the present study indicate the n e e d for more r e s e a r c h o n the effects that r e u n i o n o u t c o m e s h a v e o n the adoptees' s e n s e of self-concept. T h e present study a l s o c o n d u c t e d s o m e a n a l y s e s b a s e d on the s a m p l e of participants who  had s e a r c h e d and had a reunion, or w e r e still s e a r c h i n g .  An  a s s e s s m e n t of the r e s p o n s e s of pre-reunion and post-reunion a d o p t e e s r e s u l t e d in s o m e interesting information regarding adoptees' relationships with their a d o p t i v e parents. First of all, the findings of the study indicated that the majority of a d o p t e e s who  participated had what they c o n s i d e r e d to be "very c l o s e " or "somewhat c l o s e "  r e l a t i o n s h i p s with their adoptive parents. S a c h d e v (1992) reported a similar finding  98.  b a s e d on h i s C a n a d i a n study of 124 a d o p t e e s who s e a r c h e d a n d h a d a r e u n i o n with a birth parent. Two-thirds of a d o p t e e s in Sachdev's study d e s c r i b e d their relationship with either or both of their adoptive parents a s "close" or "somewhat c l o s e " d u r i n g their growing-up years, a n d l e s s than one-tenth d e s c r i b e d their relationship a s poor. L i k e Sachdev's study, the findings of the present study indicated that l e s s t h a n 1 0 % of a d o p t e e s reported "somewhat distant" or "very distant" relationships with their adoptive parents w h e n they w e r e children and over 7 0 % reported "somewhat c l o s e " or "very c l o s e " relationships. A l t h o u g h the number of participants who  reported distant  r e l a t i o n s h i p s with their adoptive parents during their t e e n a g e y e a r s r o s e to 3 4 % , this n u m b e r d e c r e a s e d a g a i n to about 1 5 % for their current adult relationships. Moreover, the majority of participants who had at least one adoptive parent still living, reported that their current relationship was "very c l o s e " or "somewhat c l o s e " a n d most had informed them of their s e a r c h and/or reunion. O n e c o u l d s p e c u l a t e that the r e a s o n for the i n c r e a s e in distant relationships during the teen y e a r s may  be typical for t e e n a g e r s  in g e n e r a l . Therefore, the results of t h e s e s t u d i e s s e e m to contradict the c l a i m s m a d e by s o m e r e s e a r c h e r s that a d o p t e e s who s e e k contact with their birth relatives are u s u a l l y t h o s e who  h a v e had poor relationships with their a d o p t i v e parents ( S a c h d e v ,  1992). S o m e r e s e a r c h e r s h a v e c l a i m e d that there are few significant d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n b i o l o g i c a l a n d adoptive families in terms of individuation a n d s e l f e s t e e m ( H o o p e s , in B r o d z i n s k y & Schechter, 1990). B r o d z i n s k y et. al. (1992) h a v e implied that the p r o c e s s of identity d e v e l o p m e n t is different for a d o p t e e s than for n o n a d o p t e e s . In light of this, the present study sought to e x a m i n e the self-concept of a d o p t e e s b a s e d on the different a g e s w h e n they b e g a n living with their adoptive family a n d the type of relationship they h a d with their adoptive parents. Norvell a n d G u y (1977) reported a significant relationship b e t w e e n a g e at time of a d o p t i o n a n d self-concept. U s i n g the Berger Self C o n c e p t S c a l e , they c o m p a r e d the  99.  self-concept s c o r e s of adults who  had b e e n adopted under 1 y e a r of age, 1 to 3 y e a r s  of age, a n d over 4 y e a r s old. T h e y found that the older the individual w a s at the time of the adoption, the lower their self-concept score. M o s t of the participants in the present study w e r e l e s s than 1 year old w h e n they b e g a n living with their a d o p t i v e families, and more than half w e r e l e s s than 3 months old. Therefore, this study w a s not a b l e to m a k e the s a m e c o m p a r i s o n s that Norvell and Guy (1977) made. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the present study c o m p a r e d the self-concept s c o r e s between a d o p t e e s who w e r e l e s s than 3 m o n t h s old, 3 to 12 months old, and more than 12 months o l d w h e n they b e g a n living with their a d o p t i v e families. T h i s a n a l y s i s did not indicate that there w a s any difference b e t w e e n t h e s e groups. B e c a u s e the age g r o u p s tested in the present study w e r e different than t h o s e t e s t e d in the Norvell and G u y (1977) study, it is difficult to s a y w h e t h e r the findings of the present study support or contradict the findings of Norvell a n d G u y B r o d z i n s k y et. al. (1992) suggest that adoptees, in particular t h o s e who  (1977). are p l a c e d in  their a d o p t i v e h o m e s before the age of 6 months usually form attachments a n d r e s o l v e the a u t o n o m y task of identity in the s a m e way a s nonadoptees. T h e findings of the present study did not indicate any differences in self-concept s c o r e s b e t w e e n the selfc o n c e p t s c o r e s of a d o p t e e s who  b e g a n living with their adoptive f a m i l i e s before they  w e r e 3 m o n t h s old a n d those that were adopted later. T h i s finding is not c o n s i s t e n t with Ames' (1996) who found a difference in attachment b e t w e e n R o m a n i a n children who w e r e a d o p t e d over the age of 4 months and those a d o p t e d y o u n g e r than 4 months. Further r e s e a r c h is s u g g e s t e d in order to provide more clarity on this issue. In addition to a s s e s s i n g the relationship between adoptees' s c o r e s on selfc o n c e p t a n d the age in which they b e g a n living with their a d o p t i v e families, the present study a l s o l o o k e d at adoptees' self-concept s c o r e s in relation to how they v i e w e d their relationships with their adoptive parents. A s previously d i s c u s s e d , the majority of participants rated their c h i l d h o o d and their current relationships with their a d o p t i v e  100.  parents a s "very c l o s e " or "somewhat close." Nevertheless, a d o p t e e s w h o s e T S C S s c o r e s fell a b o v e the m e d i a n rated their relationships with their a d o p t i v e parents significantly more positively than those w h o s e s c o r e s fell b e l o w the median. T h e difference in their ratings w a s minimal though with both g r o u p s rating their relationships better than "casual, neither c l o s e nor distant", a n d c l o s e r to "somewhat c l o s e " or "very close." O n e other study h a s attempted to m a k e c o m p a r i s o n s of the self-concept s c o r e s of a d o p t e e s b a s e d o n their relationships with their adoptive parents. A u m e n d a n d Barrett (1984) found a significant difference b e t w e e n s e a r c h e r s a n d n o n s e a r c h e r s on their T S C S s c o r e s a n d a l s o o n their attitudes towards their a d o p t i v e parents. In both c a s e s , n o n s e a r c h e r s s c o r e d significantly higher than s e a r c h e r s . T h a t is,  nonsearchers  h a d h i g h e r self-concept s c o r e s a n d a l s o h a d more positive attitudes t o w a r d s their a d o p t i v e parents. Nonetheless, it is a g a i n difficult to draw a n y c o n c l u s i o n s b a s e d on t h e s e findings a n d that of the present study b e c a u s e the r e s e a r c h is s o limited. Further r e s e a r c h is n e c e s s a r y in order to acquire further understanding o n the p o s s i b l e a s s o c i a t i o n b e t w e e n adoptive relationships the adoptees' self-concept. Other findings of this study, too, d e m a n d corroboration through further research. T h e findings of this study h a v e p e r h a p s raised more q u e s t i o n s than a n s w e r s . S o m e of t h e s e q u e s t i o n s are a result of limitations of this study, others are simply the result of the n e e d for more r e s e a r c h a n d k n o w l e d g e about adoption. Therefore, before c o n t i n u i n g this d i s c u s s i o n by examining the implications of the findings for c o u n s e l l i n g , the limitations of this r e s e a r c h must be highlighted a s well a s s o m e s u g g e s t i o n s for clarification by further research.  101.  Limitations  T h e p r e v i o u s d i s c u s s i o n regarding the findings of this study a l s o d i s c u s s e d s o m e of the limitations of the research. First, a limitation of this study w a s that it w a s not p o s s i b l e to perform the a n a l y s e s a d o p t e e s who identified t h e m s e l v e s a s nonsearchers.  A u m e n d a n d Barrett (1984) found significant d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n the  T S C S s c o r e s of n o n s e a r c h i n g a n d s e a r c h i n g adoptees. Unfortunately, this study only e x a m i n e d the s c o r e s of a d o p t e e s who w e r e interested in s e a r c h i n g a n d reunion, but b e c a u s e of insufficient n u m b e r s of participants who identified t h e m s e l v e s a s n o n s e a r c h e r s , c o u l d not c o m p a r e these s c o r e s with a d o p t e e s w h o w e r e not interested in s e a r c h i n g . T h e results are, therefore, more a p p l i c a b l e to a d o p t e e s w h o c o n s i d e r t h e m s e l v e s s e a r c h e r s than to those who are nonsearchers.  In addition, b e c a u s e the  s a m p l e w a s predominantly m a d e up by women, the results may a l s o b e more a p p l i c a b l e to w o m e n w h o s e a c h than to men. A s e c o n d limitation of this study w a s that its s a m p l e w a s limited to volunteers w h o w e r e m e m b e r s of two local adoption groups: the T R I A D S o c i e t y or T h e Forget-MeNot F a m i l y Society. A s d i s c u s s e d , e v e n though t h e s e p e o p l e may b e living in different a r e a s of the province or throughout C a n a d a or the U.S., this w a s not a r a n d o m s a m p l e but rather a b i a s e d s a m p l e b a s e d o n their affiliations with t h e s e two o r g a n i z a t i o n s . Therefore, the findings of this study cannot b e g e n e r a l i z e d to the g e n e r a l population of adoptees. T h e study a l s o b a s e d many of its findings o n participants' the self-reports a n d their r e s p o n s e s o n the b a c k g r o u n d questionnaire. T h i s is not only p r o b l e m a t i c b e c a u s e of the p o s s i b l e bias w h i c h may exist d u e to the limited sample, but a l s o b e c a u s e of m o r e g e n e r a l limitations w h i c h are g e n e r a l l y a s s o c i a t e d with n o n s t a n d a r d i z e d questionnaires. T h e s e limitations may include p o s s i b l e reactivity to the  102.  m e a s u r e m e n t procedure, less-than-perfectly reliable ratings, o b s e r v a t i o n s or recollections, a n d inadequate reliability a n d internal validity. T h e other m e a s u r e that w a s used, the T S C S may a l s o h a v e h a d limitations. A l t h o u g h it w a s p o s s i b l y the best selection for this study, there w e r e s o m e q u e s t i o n s r e g a r d i n g its applicability to the population that w a s tested. First, b e c a u s e t h e r e h a v e not b e e n a n y s t u d i e s c o n d u c t e d o n C a n a d i a n populations, it is u n k n o w n w h e t h e r the n o r m s of the T S C S d o g e n e r a l i z e to the C a n a d i a n participants in this study. A l s o , although there w a s a minimal number of aboriginal participants in this study, there w a s s o m e indication that the T S C S norms may not g e n e r a l i z e to First N a t i o n s people. S e c o n d , it is u n k n o w n whether the T S C S is a reliable m e a s u r e of self-concept for p e o p l e w h o w e r e adopted. A s previously d i s c u s s e d , there w a s s o m e indication that the statements r e g a r d i n g "family" were confusing to s o m e respondents.  Furthermore, the  T S C S may not h a d adequately o p e r a t i o n a l i z e d self-concept for adoptees.  The  q u e s t i o n s m a y h a v e b e e n overly g e n e r a l a n d may not'have t a p p e d into a d i m e n s i o n of self-concept w h i c h is unique to adoptees.  For instance, it w a s this researcher's  i m p r e s s i o n that the statements w h i c h m a k e up the T S C S t e n d to f o c u s o n a u t o n o m y a n d i n d e p e n d e n c e rather than on self-concept b a s e d o n one's r e l a t i o n s h i p s to others. A n o t h e r limitation of this study w a s that it w a s limited to a c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l design. T h e results suggest that a longitudinal study c o u l d h a v e p r o v i d e d a more thorough u n d e r s t a n d i n g of adoptees' self-concept at different s t a g e s of the s e a r c h a n d r e u n i o n process. F o r instance, it c o u l d be interesting to m e a s u r e the adoptees' selfc o n c e p t s w h e n they begin their search, a n d again at different intervals after the reunion, c o m p a r i n g their self-concept s c o r e s throughout the p r o c e s s . It m a y b e that the self c o n c e p t s c o r e s w o u l d not differ in a longitudinal study, n e v e r t h e l e s s , it w o u l d be interesting to s e e if the study d e s i g n w o u l d m a k e a difference. Finally, b e c a u s e of the study's quasi-experimental design, it w a s not a b l e to control for p o s s i b l e confounding variables. That is, the study did not control for other  103.  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s or events w h i c h may h a v e affected the self-concept of participants. F o r example, there w e r e s o m e differences between the s a m p l e groups; there w e r e d i f f e r e n c e s in the a g e s of participants, their relationship status, a n d the a g e s in w h i c h they b e g a n living with their adoptive families. T h e s e variables, a n d p e r h a p s others that w e r e undetected, may h a v e c o n f o u n d e d the results of the study.  Future R e s e a r c h  Future r e s e a r c h c o u l d improve on the present r e s e a r c h by c o r r e c t i n g a n d controlling s o m e of the limitations d i s c u s s e d above. F o r instance, r e s e a r c h is required on the applicability of the T S C S to C a n a d i a n samples, a n d to p e o p l e w h o w e r e adopted. R e s e a r c h c o u l d e x a m i n e whether the d i m e n s i o n s of self-concept defined by the T S C S are a d e q u a t e to m e a s u r e the self-concept of a d o p t e e s , a n d w h e t h e r the T S C S ' s c o n c e p t u a l definition of self-concept is c o n c o r d a n t with the s t a g e s of identity d e v e l o p m e n t s u g g e s t e d by B r o d z i n s k y et. al. (1992). F u r t h e r r e s e a r c h is required u s i n g adequate, s t a n d a r d i z e d m e a s u r e s of selfconcept. S o m e s t u d i e s h a v e u s e d s t a n d a r d i z e d m e a s u r e s to m a k e c o m p a r i s o n s b e t w e e n a d o p t e e s a n d nonadoptees, a n d s e a r c h i n g a n d n o n s e a r c h i n g  adoptees.  However, f e w h a v e u s e d s t a n d a r d i z e d m e a s u r e s to c o m p a r e the self-concept of a d o p t e e s before a n d after a reunion. A s more a n d more countries c h a n g e their a d o p t i o n laws to allow for reunions, it will b e c o m e e a s i e r for r e s e a r c h e r s to r e a c h p e o p l e w h o h a v e e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion a n d to learn from them what effects this h a s had.  Further r e s e a r c h is a l s o required o n the relationships that are d e v e l o p e d through  r e u n i o n s a n d their effects o n the self-concept of p e o p l e involved. K n o w l e d g e o n the effects of reunion o n self-concept is not o n l y relevant for s t u d i e s o n adoptees. A similar study to this o n e c o u l d a l s o b e c o n d u c t e d with birth parents. It might e x a m i n e the birth parents' e x p e r i e n c e s of self c o n c e p t before b e i n g  104.  reunited with the child they relinquished a n d a g a i n after b e i n g reunited. M a n y s t u d i e s h a v e reported that birth mothers d e s c r i b e the reunion e x p e r i e n c e a s "healing" a n d e n d i n g their grief; that they are finally a b l e to "forgive" t h e m s e l v e s a n d "make p e a c e " with their d e c i s i o n to relinquish their child (Report to the Minister of S o c i a l S e r v i c e , 1994; Depp, 1982; Silverman, C a m p b e l l , Patti & Style, 1988; S u l l i v a n & G r o d e n , 1995). It is p o s s i b l e that this e x p e r i e n c e a n d the resolution of long-time f e e l i n g s may h a v e a n effect o n the self-concept of birth-parents. It w o u l d also'be b e n e f i c i a l to learn more a b o u t a d o p t i v e parents a n d their e x p e r i e n c e s of reunion. A s m o r e than o n e participant of the present study pointed out, adoptive parents are often active participants in r e u n i o n s a n d the o u t c o m e s a l s o h a v e a n effect on them, a s well a s other family members, s u c h a s siblings, s p o u s e s a n d children. Undoubtably, more u n d e r s t a n d i n g is required o n the effects of adoption reunions on all m e m b e r s of the a d o p t i o n circle.  Implications for C o u n s e l l i n g  S t u d i e s o n adoption reunions are relatively new a n d m u c h more r e s e a r c h is r e q u i r e d before the ramifications of t h e s e e x p e r i e n c e s for adoptees, a n d other m e m b e r s of the adoption circle, c a n be fully understood. Still, s e v e r a l implications for c o u n s e l l i n g c a n b e d r a w n from the findings of the present study. First, e v e n though respondents' narrative reports indicated that they s e a r c h e d for r e a s o n s related to their s e n s e of self-concept or identity, a s a group, a d o p t e e s in the study s c o r e d well o n self-concept, a s it is m e a s u r e d by the T S C S . In c o m p a r i s o n to the norms, the a d o p t e e s in the present study a p p e a r e d similar to the g e n e r a l population, in terms of self-concept a s it is o p e r a t i o n a l i z e d by the T S C S . C o u n s e l l o r s s h o u l d be a w a r e of the findings that suggest that a d o p t e e s a r e a b l e to d e v e l o p positive self-concepts without reunions a n d information about their bith relatives. T h i s is particularly important for clinicians who work with a d o p t e e s w h o feel they n e e d this  105.  information a n d yet h a v e not b e e n able to acquire it b e c a u s e they h a v e b e e n d e n i e d a reunion. C o u n s e l l o r s c a n assist a d o p t e e s to realize their positive s e n s e of self in the a b s e n c e of infomation about their birth families. T h e p e r c e p t i o n of s o m e a d o p t e e s in the study was that their s e n s e of self c o u l d be e n h a n c e d by contact with birth relatives. A l t h o u g h the f i n d i n g s d i d not i n d i c a t e any difference b e t w e e n the self-concept s c o r e s of a d o p t e e s who  had h a d contact a n d  those  that h a d not, t h e s e reported self-perceptions are an important c o n s i d e r a t i o n for c o u n s e l l i n g . C o u n s e l l o r s who  take a client-centred p e r s p e c t i v e will a c c e p t a n d respect  the individual client's view and help him or her explore this self-perception. instance, clients may  For  begin by exploring how he or s h e c o n s i d e r s his or her own  c o n c e p t in c o m p a r i s o n to those of n o n a d o p t e e s in the g e n e r a l population.  self-  The  c o u n s e l l o r c a n then wok together with the client to d e v e l o p alternate f r a m e s of r e f e r e n c e that may  help the individual realize himself or herself more fully. In addition,  the c o u n s e l l o r c a n assist a d o p t e e s to d e v e l o p realistic e x p e c t a t i o n s for the reunion. C o u n s e l l o r s c a n work with a d o p t e e s to help them explore the t a s k s of identity d e v e l o p m e n t a n d how they p e r c e i v e their resolution of t h e s e tasks. A d o p t e e s  may  e x p l o r e what their expectations are in terms of p e r s o n a l growth a n d what they h o p e to a c q u i r e through s e a c h a n d reunion. C o u n s e l l o r s c a n a s s i s t a d o p t e e s to u n d e r s t a n d that the therapeutic v a l u e of s e a c h and reunion may once. T h e benefits may  o c c u r over time, rather than all at  be in the p r o c e s s of searching, w h e r e b y a d o p t e e s c a n actively  e x a m i n e their e x p e r i e n c e of being a d o p t e d and the i s s u e s w h i c h may  be related to that  (Andersen, 1989). A s one a d o p t e e in the study put it, I h a v e b e c o m e a w a r e that my adoption left a substantial s c a r within my s o u l ... W h i l e [search and reunion] c o u l d be "a c a n of worms," I expect that it will bring s o m e completion one way or another. But the real work has to take p l a c e i n s i d e me, a s this is w h e r e all adoptees' h e a l i n g journeys must begin -- a n d end.  106.  T h e "real work" that this participant refers to c a n begin well before the a d o p t e e m a k e s the d e c i s i o n to s e a c h or enter into a reunion. It c a n b e g i n e a r l y o n in t h e individual's life a n d with the c o o p e r a t i o n a n d involvement of the w h o l e family. T h e findings of the study indicated that most of the a d o p t e e s who s e a r c h e d h a d c l o s e relationships with their adoptive parents, a n d told them about the s e a r c h a n d reunion. C o u n s e l l o r s w h o work in adoption h a v e a responsibility to all m e m b e r s of the a d o p t i o n circle; they c a n help a d o p t e e s a n d their families to view adoption a s a family matter a n d to d i s c u s s it o p e n l y a n d honestly from the beginning. Then, w h e n s e a r c h a n d reunion o c c u r s , the a d o p t e e a n d his or her family c a n b e s u p p o r t e d in integrating n e w m e m b e r s a n d n e w e x p e r i e n c e s into the family system.  Conclusion  A l t h o u g h adoption h a s o c c u r r e d throughout history, a n d in v a r i o u s parts of the world, its forms h a v e v a r i e d a n d changed. T h e practice of a d o p t i o n is currently c h a n g i n g in British C o l u m b i a , with records b e c o m i n g more o p e n a n d a c c e s s i b l e to a d o p t e e s a n d their birth relatives. T h e r e a s o n s cited for t h e s e c h a n g e s reflect the view that a d o p t e e s require information about their birth history in order to d e v e l o p positive self-concepts. T h i s study sought to e x a m i n e the self-concept of adult a d o p t e e s a n d to s e e w h e t h e r there w e r e a n y differences between the self-concept of a d o p t e e s w h o h a d e x p e r i e n c e d a reunion a n d those who were still searching. T h e results of the study indicated that, a s a whole, a d o p t e e s s c o r e d very similarly to the g e n e r a l population on a m e a s u r e of self-concept, a n d that there w a s no difference in self-concept b e t w e e n the group of a d o p t e e s who h a d h a d contact with birth relatives a n d those that h a d not. T h e s e findings a r e not c o n s i s t e n t with t h o s e of other r e s e a r c h e r s that claim that a d o p t e e s are more v u l n e r a b l e than the g e n e r a l  107.  p o p u l a t i o n to identity conflicts, a n d that they n e e d birth history information in o d e r to d e v e l o p a positive s e n s e of self. However, this study also obtained narrative reports from participants c l a i m i n g that r e u n i o n s d i d affect their self-concepts. T h i s d i s c r e p a n c y b e t w e e n the narrative a n d quantitative d a t a o b t a i n e d in this study is, perhaps, a reminder that the p r o c e s s of self-concept is very complex, a s is the p r o c e s s of adoption reunions. T h e r e is no doubt that more r e s e a r c h is required on the effects of r e u n i o n s o n self-concept b e f o r e t h e s e p r o c e s s e s c a n be more fully understood. Further c o m p r e h e n s i o n of t h e s e p r o c e s s e s is n e c e s s a r y for improved theory, legislation, a n d practice in adoption.  108.  REFERENCES  A m e s , E. (1996, M a r c h 2). O r p h a n a g e C h i l d r e n A d o p t e d to C a n a d a : How  are T h e y  D o i n g ? P a p e r p r e s e n t e d at the W o r k i n g Together: T h e Future for A d o p t i o n Conference.  Forget Me Not Family Society, V a n c o u v e r , B.C.  A n d e r s o n , R. S. (1988). W h y  a d o p t e e s search: M o t i v e s a n d more. C h i l d W e l f a r e , 67,  15-19. A n d e r s o n , R. S. (1989). T h e nature of a d o p t e e search: Adventure, cure, or growth? C h i l d W e l f a r e . 68, 623-632. A u m e n d , S. A., & Barrett, M. C. (1984). Self-concept a n d attitudes toward adoption: A c o m p a r i s o n of s e a r c h i n g and n o n s e a r c h i n g adult adoptees. C h i l d W e l f a r e , 63, 251-259. Baran, A., Pannor, R., & Sorosky, A. D. (1974). A d o p t i v e parents a n d the s e a l e d record controversy. S o c i a l Casework, 55, 531-536. Berger, T.R. (1975). A d o p t i o n (Report of the B.C. R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n on F a m i l y a n d Children's Law, No. 5, Pt. 7). V a n c o u v e r , B.C.:  Queen's Printer.  Berry, M. (1991). T h e effects of o p e n adoption on biological a n d a d o p t i v e parents a n d the children: T h e arguments and the evidence. C h i l d W e l f a r e , 70, 637-651. Borg, W.R. New  & G a l l , M.D.  (1989). E d u c a t i o n a l R e s e a r c h : A n Introduction (5th ed.).  York: Longman.  B r o d z i n s k y , D. M. (1987). Adjustment to adoption: A p s y c h o s o c i a l p e r s p e c t i v e . C l i n i c a l P s y c h o l o g y Review, 7, 25-47. B r o d z i n s k y , D. M., Schechter, M. D. & Henig, R. M. (1992). B e i n g A d o p t e d : Lifelong S e a r c h for Self. New  The  York: Doubleday.  Burns, R. B. (1979). T h e Self Concept: Theory, M e a s u r e m e n t , D e v e l o p m e n t a n d Behaviour. London: L o n g m a n G r o u p Ltd.  109.  Buros, O. K. (1992). E l e v e n t h Mental M e a s u r e m e n t Y e a r b o o k . H i g h l a n d Park, N. J.: Gryphon Press. C a m p b e l l , L. H., Silverman, P. R., Patti, P. B. (1991). R e u n i o n s b e t w e e n a d o p t e e s  and  birth parents: T h e adoptees' experience. S o c i a l Work, 36, 329-335. C o l e , E.S. & Donley, K. S. (1990). History, values, a n d p l a c e m e n t i s s u e s in adoption. In D. M. B r o d z i n s k y & M. D. S c h e c t e r (Eds.), T h e P s y c h o l o g y of A d o p t i o n (pp. 273-294). New  York: Oxford University Press.  C o l e m a n , J., Herzverg, J. & Morris, M. (1977). Identity in a d o l e s c e n c e : P r e s e n t a n d future self-concepts. J o u r n a l of Y o u t h and A d o l e s c e n c e , 6, 63-75. Corey, G.  (1986). T h e o r y and P r a c t i c e of C o u n s e l l i n g a n d P s y c h o t h e r a p y  (3rd  Edition). P a c i f i c Grove, Calif.: Brooks/Cole P u b l i s h i n g Co. Curtis, P. A. (1986). T h e dialectics of o p e n v e r s u s c l o s e d a d o p t i o n of infants. C h i l d W e l f a r e , 65, 437-445. Depp, C. H. (1982). After reunion: P e r c e p t i o n s of adult adoptees, a d o p t i v e  parents,  a n d birth parents. C h i l d Welfare, 61, 115-119. Dukette, R. (1975). P e r s p e c t i v e s for a g e n c y r e s p o n s e to the adoption-record controversy. C h i l d Welfare, 54, 545-555. Dukette, R. (1984). V a l u e i s s u e s in present-day adoption. C h i l d W e l f a r e , 63, 233-243. E r i k s o n , E. H. (1950). C h i l d h o o d and Society. New  York: W. W.  E r i k s o n , E. H. (1959). Identity and the Life Cycle. New  Norton a n d Co. Inc.  York: International U n i v e r s i t i e s  P r e s s , Inc. E r i k s o n , E. H. (1968). Identity: Y o u t h and Crisis. New  York: W. W.  Norton a n d  Co.  Inc. Fitts, W.  H. (1972). T h e Self C o n c e p t and Psychopathology:  C o n c e p t a n d Rehabilitation. Nashville, TN:  S t u d i e s on the Self  T h e D e d e W a l l a c e Center.  G a d z e l l a , B. M. and W i l l i a m s o n , J. D. (1984). D i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n men  a n d w o m e n on  s e l e c t e d T e n n e s s e e Self-Concept scales. P s y c h o l o g i c a l Reports, 55, 939-942.  110.  G i l l i g a n , C. (1982). In a Different Voice: P s y c h o l o g i c a l T h e r o y a n d Women's Development. C a m b r i d g e , Mass: Harvard University P r e s s . G l a d s t o n e , J., & W e s t h u e s , A. (1992). A d o p t i o n d i s c l o s u r e c o u n s e l l i n g a s p e r c e i v e d by adult a d o p t e e s a n d biological relatives. C h i l d W e l f a r e , 71, 343-355. G l a d s t o n e , J. & W e s t h u e s , A. (1994, April 30). A d o p t i o n R e u n i o n s : A New  S i d e to  Intergenerational F a m i l y Relationships. P a p e r p r e s e n t e d at T h e  American  O r t h o p s y c h i a t r i c A s s o c i a t i o n 71st A n n u a l Meeting, W a s h i n g t o n ,  D.C.  Hoffman, R. A. a n d G e l l e n , M. I. (1984). G e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of the T e n n e s s e e SelfC o n c e p t S c a l e norms. P e r c e p t u a l and Motor Skills, 58, 140-142. H o o p e s , J. (1990). A d o p t i o n a n d identity formation. In D. M. B r o d z i n s k y & M. S c h e c h t e r (Eds.), T h e P s y c h o l o g y of A d o p t i o n (pp. 144-166). New  D.  York:  Oxford  University P r e s s . Kirk, D. H. (1964). S h a r e d Fate. G l e n c o e , III.: F r e e P r e s s . Kirk, D. H. & M c D a n i e l , S. A. (1984). A d o p t i o n policy in G r e a t Britain a n d North A m e r i c a . J o u r n a l of S o c i a l Policy, 13, 75-84. Kreager, P. (1980). Traditional A d o p t i o n P r a c t i c e s in Africa, A s i a , E u r o p e a n d Latin A m e r i c a ( R e s e a r c h for A c t i o n No. 6). London, England: International P l a n n e d P a r e n t h o o d Federation. Lifton, B. J. (1979). Lost and Found: T h e A d o p t i o n E x p e r i e n c e . New  York: H a r p e r &  Row. M a r c i a , J. E. (1966). D e v e l o p m e n t and validation of ego-identity status. J o u r n a l of P e r s o n a l i t y and S o c i a l Psychology, 3, 551-558. M a r s h , H. W. a n d R i c h a r d s , G. E. (1988). T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e : Reliability, internal structure, and construct validity. J o u r n a l of P e r s o n a l i t y a n d S o c i a l P s y c h o l o g y . 55, 612-624.  111.  Maxime, J. E. (1986). S o m e p s y c h o l o g i c a l m o d e l s of b l a c k self-concept. In S. A h m e d , J. C h e e t h a m a n d J. S m a l l (Eds.), S o c i a l W o r k with B l a c k C h i l d r e n a n d T h e i r F a m i l i e s (pp. 100-116). London: B. T. Batsford Ltd. Norvell, M. a n d Guy, R. F. (1977). A c o m p a r i s o n of self-concept in a d o p t e d a n d nona d o p t e d a d o l e s c e n t s . A d o l e s c e n c e , 12, 443-448. Nurius, P. S. (1986). R e a p p r a i s a l of the self-concept a n d implications for c o u n s e l l i n g . J o u r n a l of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology. 33, 429-438. P a n n o r , R., Baran, A. & Sorosky, A. D. (1978). Birth parents w h o r e l i n q u i s h e d b a b i e s for a d o p t i o n revisited. Family P r o c e s s , 17, 329-337. Paton, J. M. (1954). T h e A d o p t e d Break Silence. C e d a r e d g e , CO: Life History Study Center. P r o v i n c e of British Columbia.  (1994). Report to the Minister of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s of the  P a n e l to R e v i e w A d o p t i o n Legislation in British Columbia. Victoria, B.C.: Ministry of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s , A d o p t i o n S e r v i c e s . R e g i s t r a r G e n e r a l . (1991). A c c e s s to Birth Records: N o t e s for C o u n s e l l o r s (leaflet A C R 1 1 3 ) . Southport, England: T h e G e n e r a l R e g i s t e r Office. R e i c h l , A. (1996). Information obtained from d i s c u s s i o n with Dr. R e i c h l of U.B.C. E d u c a t i o n C o m p u t i n g Centre. Roffe, M. W. (1981). F a c t o r i a l structure of the T e n n e s s e e S e l f - C o n c e p t S c a l e . P s y c h o l o g i c a l Reports, 48, 455-462. R o i d , H. & Fitts, W. H. (1988). T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t S c a l e (revised manual). N a s h v i l l e , TN: C o u n s e l l o r R e c o r d i n g s a n d Tests. Rosenzweig-Smith, J. (1988). F a c t o r s a s s o c i a t e d with s u c c e s s f u l r e u n i o n s of adult a d o p t e e s a n d biological parents. C h i l d Welfare, 67, 411-422. S a c h d e v , P. (1989a). T h e triangle of fears: F a l l a c i e s a n d facts. C h i l d W e l f a r e , 68, 491-503.  112.  S a c h d e v , P. (1989b). U n l o c k i n g the A d o p t i o n Files. Toronto, Ontario: L e x i n g t o n Books. S a c h d e v , P. (1992). A d o p t i o n reunion a n d after: A study of the s e a r c h p r o c e s s a n d e x p e r i e n c e of adoptees. C h i l d Welfare, 71, 53-68. S h a r p l e y , C. F. a n d Hattie, J. A. (1983). Cross-cultural a n d s e x d i f f e r e n c e s o n the T e n n e s s e e Self C o n c e p t Scale: A c h a l l e n g e to Fitts' original data. J o u r n a l of C l i n i c a l P s y c h o l o g y , 39. 717-721. S i l v e r m a n , P. R., C a m p b e l l , L , Patti, P., & Style, C. B. (1988). R e u n i o n s b e t w e e n a d o p t e e s a n d birth parents: T h e birth parents' e x p e r i e n c e . S o c i a l Work, 33, 523-528. S i m m o n s , W. V. (1980). A study of identity formation in a d o p t e e s ( D o c t o r a l dissertation, University of Detroit, 1979). Dissertation A b s t r a c t s International, 40, 5832. Smith, R. (1976). T h e s e a l e d record controversy a n d s o c i a l a g e n c y response.  Child  Welfare, S o r o s k y , A. D., Baran, A. & Pannor, R. (1975). Identity conflicts in adoptees.  American  J o u r n a l of Orthopsychiatry, 45, 18-27. S o r o s k y , A. D., Baran, A., & Pannor, R. (1976). T h e effects of the s e a l e d r e c o r d in adoption. A m e r i c a n J o u r n a l of Psychiatry, 133, 900-904. S t e i n L. M. & H o o p e s , J. L. (1985). Identity Formation in the A d o p t e d A d o l e s c e n t .  New  York: C h i l d W e l f a r e L e a g u e of America. S t e p h e n s o n , P. S. (1975). T h e emotional implications of a d o p t i o n policy. C o m p r e h e n s i v e Psychiatry, 16, 363-367. S u l l i v a n , R. & G r o d e n , D. (1995). Report on the E v a l u a t i o n of the A d o p t i o n  Reunion  Registry. P r e s e n t e d to the Minister of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s , P r o v i n c e of British Columbia.  113.  Triseliotis, J. (1973). In S e a r c h of Origins: T h e E x p e r i e n c e s of A d o p t e d P e r s o n s . Boston, MA:  B e a c o n Press.  W a r r e n , L. (1996). Information obtained from d i s c u s s i o n with Dr. W a r r e n of W e s t e r n P s y c h o l o g i c a l S e r v i c e s , California, U.S.A. W a y m e n t , H. a n d Zetlin, A. G. (1989). Theoretical and m e t h o d o l o g i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of self-concept measurement. A d o l e s c e n c e , 24, 339-347. Wright, J. E. (1982). E r i c k s o n : Identity and Religion. New  York: T h e S e a b u r y P r e s s .  APPENDIX A  Letters of Introduction to Study Participants  THE  UNIVERSITY  OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  Department of Counselling Psychology Faculty of Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4  November, 1 9 9 5  Tel: (604) 822-5259 Fax: (604) 822-2328  D e a r Sir/Madam: I a m a g r a d u a t e student at U.B.C. c o n d u c t i n g r e s e a r c h o n a d o p t i o n for m y M A . thesis. I a m i n t e r e s t e d in l e a r n i n g about the e x p e r i e n c e s of p e o p l e w h o w e r e a d o p t e d a n d the f e e l i n g s they d e v e l o p about themselves. I a m h o p i n g that y o u will contribute to my r e s e a r c h by s h a r i n g your experiences. E n c l o s e d a r e two brief questionnaires. B e c a u s e I r e c o g n i z e that adoption is very p e r s o n a l a n d that a d o p t e e s h a v e a right to privacy, I want y o u to u n d e r s t a n d h o w t h e s e q u e s t i o n n a i r e s w e r e sent to y o u a n d what will b e d o n e with them o n c e they a r e returned to me. 1. T h e p r e s i d e n t of the Forget-Me-Not Family Society, C e c e l i a Reekie, h a s a g r e e d to a s s i s t with this r e s e a r c h b y s e n d i n g y o u this p a c k a g e o n my behalf. I p r e p a r e d the p a c k a g e s a n d g a v e them to C e c e l i a . S h e then a d d r e s s e d t h e e n v e l o p e a n d mailed them to s o m e members. A t n o time h a v e I, nor will I, h a v e a c c e s s to the Forget-Me-Not Family Society's mail list. I d o not k n o w w h o h a s r e c e i v e d the p a c k a g e s .  Please do not write your name anywhere on the questionnaires or return envelope. O n c e y o u  2. T h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e s are to b e c o m p l e t e d anonymously.  c o m p l e t e the q u e s t i o n n a i r e s , p l e a s e u s e the a d d r e s s e d a n d s t a m p e d e n v e l o p e i n c l u d e d to return them directly to m e at U.B.C. T h e Forget-Me-Not F a m i l y S o c i e t y will not b e a w a r e of whether y o u participate o r not, nor will they h a v e a c c e s s to the c o m p l e t e d questionnaires. O n l y my r e s e a r c h s u p e r v i s o r a n d I will h a v e a c c e s s to the q u e s t i o n n a i r e s w h i c h are a n o n y m o u s a n d confidential. 3. T h e information that I r e c e i v e from the returned q u e s t i o n n a i r e s will b e s u m m a r i z e d a s a g r o u p a n d the findings will b e reported in my t h e s i s report. N o individual r e s p o n s e s will b e reported. A c o p y of the t h e s i s will b e b o u n d a n d s h e l v e d in the library at U.B.C. If y o u a r e willing to contribute to this research, please complete the questionnaires anonymously. D o not write your n a m e o n the q u e s t i o n n a i r e s or a n y w h e r e o n the return p a c k a g e . T h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e s will take y o u approximately 2 0 minutes to complete. O n c e you've c o m p l e t e d them, please return them to me as soon as  possible using the self-addressed and stamped envelope that is included. I would a l s o b e i n t e r e s t e d in a n y c o m m e n t s that y o u might like to add.  Y o u h a v e the right to  115.  THE  UNIVERSITY  OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA  Department of Counselling Psychology Faculty of Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4  November, 1995  Tel: (604) 822-5259 Fax: (604) 822-2328  Dear Sir/Madam: I am a graduate student at U.B.C. conducting research on adoption for my M.A. thesis. I am interested in learning about the experiences of people who were adopted and the feelings they develop about themselves. I am hoping that you will contribute to my research by sharing your experiences. Enclosed are two brief questionnaires. Because I recognize that adoption is very personal and that adoptees have a right to privacy, I want you to understand how these questionnaires were sent to you and what will be done with them once they are returned to me. 1. The president of the TRIAD Society, Audrey Scammel, has agreed to assist with this research by sending you this package on my behalf. I prepared the packages and gave them to Audrey. She then addressed the envelope and mailed them to some members. At no time have I, nor will I, have access to TRIAD Society's mail list. I do not know who has received the packages. 2. The questionnaires are to be completed anonymously. Please do not write your name anywhere on the questionnaires or return envelope. Once you complete the questionnaires, please use the addressed and stamped envelope included to return them directly to me at U.B.C. The TRIAD Society will not be aware of whether you participate or not, nor will they have access to the completed questionnaires. Only my research supervisor and I will have access to the questionnaires which are anonymous and confidential. 3. The information that I receive from the returned questionnaires will be summarized as a group and the findings will be reported in my thesis report. No individual responses will be reported. A copy of the thesis will be bound and shelved in the library at U.B.C. If you are willing to contribute to this research, please complete the questionnaires anonymously. Do not write your name on the questionnaires or anywhere on the return package. The questionnaires will take you approximately 20 minutes to complete. Once you've completed them, please return them to me as soon as. possible using the self-addressed and stamped envelope that is included. I would also be interested in any comments that you might like to add. You have the right to  117.  118.  r e f u s e to participate in this study o r to w i t h d r a w at a n y time. If the q u e s t i o n n a i r e s a r e c o m p l e t e d a n d returned, it will b e a s s u m e d that c o n s e n t h a s b e e n given. If y o u h a v e a n y q u e s t i o n s r e g a r d i n g the study or the q u e s t i o n n a i r e s , p l e a s e d o not h e s i t a t e to contact me, o r my r e s e a r c h supervisor, Dr. Beth H a v e r k a m p at (604) 822-4919. T h i s n u m b e r is a m e s s a g e m a c h i n e only for student r e s e a r c h , p l e a s e l e a v e y o u r n a m e (a first n a m e only is fine) a n d a p h o n e n u m b e r w h e r e y o u c a n b e r e a c h e d a n d w e will get b a c k to y o u a s s o o n a s p o s s i b l e . In addition, p l e a s e c o n t a c t m e b e a s e p a r a t e letter if y o u a r e interested in r e c e i v i n g a s u m m a r y of the results of the study o n c e c o m p l e t e d . I t h a n k y o u for your c o o p e r a t i o n . A s y o u may b e aware, r e s e a r c h is limited o n t h e i s s u e s r e l a t e d to a d o p t i o n . W i t h legislation o n a d o p t i o n b e i n g e x a m i n e d throughout the country, r e s e a r c h is a s important a s ever. T h a n k y o u for contributing to k n o w l e d g e o n the e x p e r i e n c e s of a d o p t e e s . Sincerely,  S a n d y M o n i z - L e c c e , M.A. ( C a n d i d a t e ) G r a d u a t e Student, U.B.C.  (For m o r e information, p l e a s e write to me at the U.B.C. a d d r e s s above.)  APPENDIX B  Instructions to Study Participants Background Questionnaire  121.  Questionnaire 1 BACKGROUND INFORMATION PLEASE ANSWER EACH OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS BY  CHECKING THE OWE RESPONSE THAT FITS BEST FOR YOU. (Except where indicated.)  1.  Which one of the following describes you best? I have completed a search and had contact with a birth relative I have completed a search and have o o i had contact with a birth relative I am in the process of searching and have QQ! had contact with birth relative I did not search but a birth relative searched for me and we have had contact I have not searched and have not had contact with a birth relative  2.  Present age: 19 - 24  40 - 49  25-30  50-59  30 - 39  60 or over _  3.  Sex:  Male  Female  4.  Highest level of education attained: Some high school or completed high school Vocational training or some college or university University graduate or postgraduate -1 -  122.  5.  Current employment (check all that apply): Professional or semiprofessional Clerical, sales, or technician Skilled or semi-skilled manual labour Self-employed Homemaker Student Unemployed Retired  6.  7.  Household income: less than 12,000  35,000 - 49,999 _  12,000-19,999  50,000-59,999 _  20,000 - 34,999  60,000 and above  Where do you live? Canada U. S. Other country:  8.  Is the area you live in considered to be: Urban Suburban Rural -2-  123.  9.  10.  Your current relationship status: Married  Single/Never married  Divorced  Living with significant other  Widowed  Other:  Do you have children? Yes  No  If yes, have you adopted children? Yes Have you placed a child(ren) for adoption? Yes 11.  No No  How would you describe your ethnic heritage? (Check all that apply): Don't know  Asian  Aboriginal  African  European  .  East Indian  Hispanic  Other  12. How would you describe your adoptive parents' ethnic heritage? (Check all that apply): Don't Know  Asian  Aboriginal  African  European  East Indian  Hispanic  Other  13. Your religion: 14. Your adoptive parents'religion: -3-  124.  15. Age when you began living with your adoptive family: Don't know  1 to 2 years old  Less than 3 months old  2 to 4 years old  3 to 6 months old  5 years and older  6 to 12 months old 16. Age when you were told of your adoption: Don't know  11 to 13 years old  Less than 3 years old  14 to 17 years old  3 to 5 years old  18 to 24 years old  6 to 10 years old  Over 24 years old  17. Who told you of your adoption? (check all that apply): Adoptive parent(s) Adoptive sibling or other relative Social worker/Counsellor Found out on my own 18.  How would you describe your relationship with your adoptive parents? a.) when you were a child: Very close Somewhat close Casual, neither close nor distant Somewhat distant Very distant -4-  125.  b. ) when you were a teen: Very close Somewhat close Casual, neither close nor distant _ _ _ Somewhat distant Very distant c. ) at the present time:  Very close Somewhat close Casual, neither close nor distant Somewhat distant Very distant Parent(s) deceased  19.  Did you tell your adoptive parents of your search and reunion?: Yes  No  If yes, when?  Before began searching After search but before reunion After reunion  20. What was the most important influence on your decision to search? Rank this number 1. If there were others, rank 2, 3, 4, etc.: Medical information  Curiosity  Encouragement from others  Need to know  Planning to have children  Identity  Other:  -5-  126.  21.  Did you receive any background information about your birth parents before you made your decision to search? Yes  No  22. Was the information useful?  Yes  No  If yes, how?  23. What did/do you hope to achieve, learn or experience through search and reunion?  IF YOU HAVE NOT HAD CONTACT WITH A BIRTH RELATIVE, PLEASE SKIP TO QUESTION #34 AT THE BOTTOM OF PAGE 8. IF YOU HAVE HAD CONTACT WITH A BIRTH RELATIVE, PLEASE CONTINUE: 24. Who were you first reunited with? Birth mother Birth father Birth sibling Other:  -6-  127.  25.  How long ago did you first have contact with a birth relative? Less than 3 months ago  12 to 24 months ago _  3 to 6 months ago  2 to 5 years ago  6 to 12 months ago  More than 5 years ago  26. What type of first contact did you have? Letter 27.  28.  Phone  In Person  If your first contact was by letter or phone, how long after this first contact until you met in person? Within 1 week  6 to 12 months  Within 1 month  1 to 2 years  1 to 3 months  More than 2 years  3 to 6 months  Have not met in person yet _  Currently, how often are you in contact with the person you searched for? (whether by letter, phone, or in person): Daily  On special occasions  Weekly  Yearly  Monthly  Never  Every few months 29.  How far do you live from the person you made contact with? (Check all that apply.) Same town/city  Same province  Less than two hour drive  Another province  2 to 5 hour drive  Another country  -7-  128.  30. Who else have you had contact with? (check all that apply):  31.  No one else  Birth siblings  Birth mother  Birth grandparents  Birth father  Other birth relative(s)  Has the reunion had any effect on your sense of self concept or identity? Yes No If yes, has the effect been positive  or negative  Please describe how:  •  32. Overall, has the search and reunion satisfied your hopes and expectations so far? Very satisfied  Satisfied Neutral/Mixed  Dissatisfied  Very dissatisfied  33. Knowing what you know now, would you choose to do it again? Conduct the search?  Yes  No  Have a reunion?  Yes  No  34. Are you currently seeing a counsellor/therapist for concerns that you see as related to adoption?: Yes  No  -8-  35. The space below is for you to make comments on your experience or any question in this booklet. (Optional)  Thank you for participating in this study. Please continue with Questionnaire 2 on the next page.  APPENDIX C  E x a m p l e of T e n n e s s e e Self-Concept S c a l e  Questionnaire 2 DIRECTIONS The statements in this booklet are to help you describe yourself as you see yourself. Please respond to them as if you were describing yourself to yourself. Do not omit any item. Read each statement carefully, then select one of the five responses listed below. Put a circle around the response you chose. If you want to change an answer after you have circled it, do not erase it but put an X mark through it the response and then circle the response you want. Remember, put a circle around the response number you have chosen for each statement.  Completely False  Mostly False  1  2  Partly False and Partly True 3  Mostly True 4  Completely True 5  You will find these response numbers repeated at the top of each page to help you remember them.  Items from the TSCS copyright © 1964 by William H. Fitts, copyright O 1988 by Western Psychological Services. Reprinted by Sandy Moniz-Lecce for specific research use by permission of the publisher, Western Psychological Services, 12031 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90025, U.S.A.  132.  Completely False  Mostly False  1  2  Partly False and Partly True 3  Mostly True  Completely True  4  5  1.  I have a healthy body.  1  2  3  4  5  2.  I am an attractive person.  1  2  3  4  5  3.  I consider myself a sloppy person.  1  2  3  4  5  4.  I am a decent sort of person.  1  2  3  4  5  5.  I am an honest person.  1  2  3  4  5  6.  I am a bad person.  1  2  3  4  5  7.  I am a cheerful person.  1  2  3  4  5  8.  I am a calm and easygoing person.  1  2  3  4  5  9.  I am a nobody.  1  2  3  4  5  10.  I have a family that would always help me in any kind of trouble.  1  2  3  4  5  11.  I am a member of a happy family.  1  2  3  4  5  12.  My friends have no confidence in me.  1  2  3  4  5  13.  I am a friendly person.  1  2  3  4  5  14.  I am popular with men.  1  2  3  4  5  15.  I am not interested in what other people do.  1  2  3  4  5  16.  I do not always tell the truth.  1  2  3  4  5  17.  I get angry sometimes.  1  2  3  4  5  18.  I like to look nice and neat all the time.  1  2  3  4  5  19.  I am full of aches and pains.  1  2  3  4  5  -1 -  133.  ROW 3  ROW 2  Behavior  Self Satisfaction  (How  H e o r S h e Acts)  ( H o w H e o r S h e Accepts  ROW 1  Self)  Identity ( W h a t H e o r S h e Is)  

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