Report Roundup

Adopted Students

"The Paradox of Adoption"

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

The school behavior and academic performance of adopted children lags behind their peers who are not adopted, concludes a report from the Institute for Family Studies.

The report author, Nicholas Zill, a retired psychologist and researcher, analyzed data from a federal longitudinal study of 19,000 children, including 160 who had been adopted.

He found that adopted children behave worse and do worse academically in kindergarten and 1st grade than students who are not adopted. Zill said that outcome was not the fault of adoptive parents, who tend to be well-off and especially interested in their children's welfare. Rather, he writes, it could be the result of poor attachment to the child's biological parents, early traumatic experiences, or genetics.

He found that adopted kindergartners were ranked by teachers in the 66th percentile for problem behavior, while children from two-parent homes were ranked in the 45th percentile. (The 50th percentile is considered average.) Similar gaps were noted on measures of early reading and math skills.

Vol. 35, Issue 09, Page 5

Published in Print: October 21, 2015, as Adopted Students
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories