Using an adoption design to collect data on biological and adoptive parents of children adopted at birth, this study explored a possible mechanism through which heritable characteristics of adopted children evoke adoptive parent responses and lead to reciprocal influences between adoptive parent and adopted child behavior. Participants were 25 male and 20 female adoptees, 12-18 years of age, having either a biological parent with substance abuse/dependency or antisocial personality or a biological parent with no such history. The study found that psychiatric disorders of biological parents were significantly related to children's antisocial/hostile behaviors and that biological parents' psychiatric disorders were associated with adoptive parents' behaviors. This genotype-environment association was largely mediated by adoptees' antisocial/hostile behaviors. Results also suggest that the adoptee's antisocial/hostile behavior and adoptive mother's parenting practices affect each other.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies