Crystal R. Gonsalves, Psy.D., is a 2016 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Santa Barbara
- Steve Kadin, PhD, Dissertation Chair
- Bella DePaulo, PhD, Committee Member
- Violet Oaklander, PhD, External Reader
This qualitative research study is designed to explore ideas, customs, and practices related to adoption from the perspective of adult adoptees. While many studies seek to explain the negative impact of adoption, minimal literature exists with regard to a phenomenological exploration of adoption practices that successfully promote healthy adjustment and a sense of resilience and well-being in adopted children. Existing research on adoption has largely been conducted quantitatively, which can fail to capture the personal, lived experience of a positive adoption experience that leads to healthy adjustment. Specifically, little is known about which factors of the adoption experience adoptees perceive as contributing to healthy adjustment and a sense of well-being. The proposed study located themes and patterns that became apparent through narrative inquiry concerning factors in the adoption experience that contributed to adjustment. Narrative research honors the knowledge held in stories that are retrieved from memory (Fry, 2002). By interviewing adults who were adopted as children, it is hoped that their personal stories can augment clinical conceptualizations of adoption and shed light on positive meaning-making experiences in the context of adoption. These conceptualizations will be of use to persons and professionals who work closely with those involved in adoption, including mental health professionals and paraprofessionals working closely with adoptees and their families. This information is of value for those involved in family dependency treatment courts, child welfare services, and other agencies who wish to promote positive experiences for children and families who become involved in the adoption process. The electronic version of the dissertation is accessible at the Ohiolink ETD center http://www.ohiolink.edu/etd.
Gonsalves, C. R. (2016). The Remembered Experience of Adoption: Factors Supporting Healthy Adjustment. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/311