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March 1966

Are Adopted Children Especially Vulnerable to Stress?A Critique of Some Recent Assertions

Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Sociology, Sir George Williams University, Montreal (K. Jonassohn); Professor of Sociology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario (H.D. Kirk); and Social Caseworker at the Childrens' Service Center, Montreal (A. D. Fish).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;14(3):291-298. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730090067011

THE LITERATURE that links a person's experiences in his family of orientation with his mental and emotional wellbeing antedates Freud and is by now so voluminous and so thoroughly accepted as to require little documentation. Nevertheless, the investigations by Goldfarb,1 Spitz and Wolf,2 Erickson,3 and Bowlby,4 to mention but a few, have more recently drawn attention to interpersonal factors apparently crucial in personality development, factors such as the nature and continuity of mothering, and the place of the family in the wider social structure. While other students such as Ainsworth5 and Casler6 have drawn attention to problems of the interpretation of the work of some of these investigators, the critical relationship between significant persons as socializers, and the infant and child to be socialized, remains commonly acknowledged. It is therefore not surprising that the adoptive parent-child relationship

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