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The development of a model and measure of adoptee identity


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Midford, SM 1988 , 'The development of a model and measure of adoptee identity', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The objective of this study was to develop a model of adoptee identity development and change. Further using the model, to develop a measure of adoptee identity which was psychometrically sound.
Following review of the general identity literature the concept of adoptee identity was discussed. Factors such as self esteem, decision to search, relationship with adoptive parents and circumstances of adoptive status disclosure were identified from the adoption literature as related to adoptee identity.
The components of adoptee identity were defined and an overall model of adoptee identity was outlined. The adoption literature suggested two alternative forms of this model of adoptee identity and these were called the credulous model and the sceptical model.
Using the model, the development of an adoptee identity measure was commenced. The measure was developed following the stages of test construction as outlined by Crocker and Algina (1986). The project was divided into three stages. Study one used a reunion study of 87 adult adoptees recruited via Adoption Jigsaw, W.A. to pilot test a 25 item identity measure based on discussion groups, and literature review. Four factors: Biological Identity, Alienation, Genealogical Concern and Curiosity were found.
In Study two these items were expanded to 52 items and were used in a national study of 943 adult adoptees recruited from two sources: Jigsaw/Triangle state groups <unsolicited); and media publicity (solicited). Considerable efforts were made to obtain a diverse range of adoptees including non searching adoptees.
Three stable factors emerged from the analysis. These were replicated within the study using the recommended method of Gorsuch (1983). One factor, Abandonment was excluded from the final Adoptee Identity Measure because it was considered on the basis of the results to be not directly related to identity, although an interesting constellation of items and worthy of further research.
The 25 item, two scale (Biological Identity and Curiosity) Adoptee Identity Measure was found to have good reliablity and validity. Study three posed four hypotheses to test the model. All were supported.
It was not possible within the confines of this project to determine which alternative (credulous or sceptical) model best fits adoptee identity development and change. This will be dealt with in a future study.
The results were overwhelmingly consistent in support of both the overall model and measure of adoptee identity developed.
The implications of the model and the use of the measure were discussed and future directions for research were suggested.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Midford, SM
Keywords: Adoptees, Identity (Psychology)
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Copyright 1986 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (MPsych)--University of Tasmania, 1988. Bibliography: leaves 142-156

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