Adoptees DO NOT LACK SELF-ESTEEM
Do adopted children suffer from lower self-esteem? This is the question addressed by a Meta-Analysis of Studies done on Transracial, International, Domestic Adoptees by Femmie Juffer and Marinus H. van IJezdoorn. I recently came across this great study published in Psychology Bulletin in 2007.
The hypothesis was that adopted children would suffer from lower self esteem. However, the analysis proved the opposite.
In a series of meta-analyses we investigated the self-esteem of adoptees in all age ranges, from childhood to adulthood. Surprisingly, across a comprehensive meta-analysis of 88 studies we found no difference in self-esteem between more than 10,000 adoptees and more than 33,000 non-adopted comparisons. We did not find evidence for moderating factors pointing to potential risks of low self-esteem in specific groups of adoptees. The absence of risk of low self-esteem was equally true for children adopted before and after their first birthday. We did not find lower levels of self-esteem in adolescence than in other life stages. International adoptees did not show lower self-esteem than domestic adoptees, and transracial and same-race adoptees did not differ either. In a separate meta-analysis we found higher levels of self-esteem in adoptees than in non-adopted institutionalized children. Unfortunately the number of comparisons was small, as only three studies presented data on self-esteem of institutionalized children and adopted children.
In another separate meta-analysis we included studies that directly compared the self-esteem of transracial and same-race adoptees. Across 18 studies with more than 2,000 adoptees no significant differences were found between transracial and same race adoptees.
If you are interested in reading the complete report, click here: