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DCounsPsych Research Proposal Presentation

University of Manchster

Clodagh Jordan

on 24 June 2015

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Transcript of DCounsPsych Research Proposal Presentation

Clodagh Jordan

Trinity College, Dublin

Supervised by
Barbara Hannigan

The Perceived
Psychological and Emotional Impact
of Adoption on the Adopted Individual

Method and Procedure
A Brief Introduction to the
Psychological Literature
6 reasons why this research is important...
"I was never a good judge of
character, if someone said
they liked me
sure I loved them...
I was very vulnerable,
always very vulnerable.
It affected everything,
it always came back to the
"It’s taken five years of talking to my husband to
try to even make him
understand and he still
Presentation Outline
Me as a Researcher
Contribution to Knowledge
Thank you for listening!
I now welcome any questions
that you may have
Research Questions
Is there a perceived psychological
and/or emotional impact of adoption
on the adopted individual?

If so, how do adopted individuals
describe and give reason for
this impact?
Thematic Analysis

‘a method for identifying, analysing and reporting
patterns (themes) within data. It minimally
organises and describes your data set in (rich)
detail’ (Braun & Clarke, 2006)

'the most useful qualitative research
methodology in capturing the complexities of
meaning’ within a data set (Guest, 2012)

Why Thematic Analysis?
Rigour and clarity
Rich understanding of data
1. Familiarisation
2. Generating Initial
3. Searching for Themes
4. Reviewing
5. Defining and Naming
6. Producing the
Ethical Approval*
*Support from Adoption Support Groups

-Construction of Interview Schedule

-Pilot Interview

- 11 (12 including Pilot Interview) individual, audio recorded, semi structured interviews

-Transcription, Analysis & Write Up
- Personal Interest - Gap in Research - My Research Profile
"We go through what we go
through to help others go
through what we went through"
Member checks have been incorporated
into the design of the study.

Once a participant's interview has been
analysed, a summary of the themes that were found from their transcript will be emailed to them.

Their feedback can then be fed back into the
study to ensure accuracy.
- Rationale and Outline of Study

- Research Question

- Methodology

- Findings

- Summary, Relevance and Implications of

- Reflections for Future Research
- Adoption is the legal placement of abandoned, relinquished, or orphaned children within an adoptive family (Juffer& vanIjzendoorn, 2007).

- Adopted individuals can struggle with a broad range of psychological issues (Pearson, Curtis
& Chapman, 2007).
However Adoption research to date
has focused on the
quantitative measurement
of how adopted individuals
struggle with a variety of psychological
issues (Pearson, Curtis & Chapman, 2007)

Jordan & Dempsey, 2013
The Current Study
As few studies have qualitatively assessed the perceived psychological and emotional impact of adoption on adopted individuals, the current study aims to explore this.

This study will contribute a more in depth and
richer understanding of how adoption can have a psychological and emotional impact on adopted
individuals, as research in this area is lacking.
Reflexivity supports the researcher to become aware of her contribution to meaning making during the research process, and to understand the impossibility of remaining outside of the subject matter while carrying out research
(Nightingale &Cromby, 1999)
This study will contribute an in depth and rich understanding of how adoption can have a psychological
and emotional impact on adopted individuals by
qualitatively building on the previously
reported literature related to this topic.

The study will do this by exploring if and when
certain issues occur for the adopted individual, the
perceived reason for why they occur, and the lived
experience of the individual who has experienced them. 
- to offer a more in-depth understanding of adoption
- to inform psychological adoption literature
- to sensitise individuals and practitioners to the impact of
- to inform counselling and psychotherapeutic practice
- to help understand the complexity of the adoption process
- to help unpack the issues that may arise in adoption
- to build on adoption support
Exploring the Perceived
Psychological and Emotional Impact
of Adoption on Adopted Individuals
Where my mind took me, it made me
think I was less than I am, someone could take their life with that kind of insight, it’s not healthy.
I even said to counsellors oh I’m adopted
but this had nothing to do with what I’m
feeling (laughing). It was only when I
started talking about it that I realised
that it was the root of everything.
For me, my foundations were
insecure. I found it hard to build
relationships on them. I had a sense
of never fitting in. I felt like I had no
solid connections & I experienced
mistrust, anxiety and confusion of
the world around me
No one I know has any idea what
emotions I go through as an adoptee.
I definitely have low self esteem
and abandonment issues. I always felt
'not good enough' for anyone...
The Experience to Date
A range of quantitative studies have been carried out
in the attempt to unpack the psychological and
emotional impact of adoption.

- higher personality disorders, drug and alcohol use and psychiatric illness (Bohnar & von Knorring, 1979)

- an elevated risk for suicidal behaviour in adopted adults (von Borczyskowski, 2006)

- adopted individuals are over-represented in mental health services (Van IJzendoorn, Bakermans- Kranenburg & Juffer, 2007)

- adopted individuals’ have lower self-esteem than their non-
adopted peers (Passmore, 2005) and this has been
associated with dysfunctional outcomes such as
depression (Harter, 1999), anger and aggression
(Brent Donnellan, 2005), and relationship
issues (Feeney, Passmore & Peterson, 2007).


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