Young adult risky behavior: a comparison of adoptee vs. non-adoptee outcomes

Hoffman, Shannon
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The purpose of this study was to examine whether adoptees and non-adoptees, aged 18-26, differed on risky behavior outcomes. Variables such as delinquency, violence, impulsive behavior, drug use, alcohol use, and tobacco use were defined as risky behaviors. Participants (n=280) were taken from Wave III of the Adolescent Health (Add Health) data set. Individuals who answered "yes" to the variable "Have you ever been adopted?" made up the adopted sample (n=140, male=67, female=73). Non-adopted individuals were randomly selected from the remaining pool of participants and made up the control group, (n=140, male=69, female=71).;Results from this study indicate that adoption status does not predict young adult risky behavior. Additionally and probably more importantly, there was no common theme among the significant findings, indicating that there was no one single variable or combination of variables in the current study that could show any differences in risky behaviors in young adults based on their adoption status.;Findings from this study are difficult to generalize with current research, primarily due to the small sample size. However, limited research in this area has also made it difficult to assess whether findings form the current study compare to those of other studies. Recommendations for future researchers are to study the possible interactions of family environment, higher degrees of parental warmth, and socioeconomic status.

Human development and family studies;