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ERIC Number: ED260312
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Reactions of Mental Health Professionals to Hypothetical Clients: A Comparison Based on Clients' Adoptive Status.
Weiss, Andrea
Mental health professionals have often reported differences in the psychiatric symptoms and diagnoses of adopted and nonadopted children and adolescents. Since psychiatric diagnoses are influenced by the judgments of the professionals who assign them, it is possible that the differences observed between adopted and nonadopted psychiatric patients are partly a function of differences in professionals' assumptions about adoption. A study was conducted to examine whether adopted and nonadopted clients were perceived differently by mental health professionals. Social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists (N=397) completed a mailed questionnaire which contained a case description and a set of etiology- and treatment-related questions pertaining to that case. Two cases, one male and one female adolescent, and two versions of each case, one describing the client as adopted and the other making no mention of adoptive status, were used. The results indicated that the adoptive status of the clients did not seem to be a significant factor in the majority of the clinical judgments that were made about them. There were no differences between those subjects who received the adopted and those who received the nonadopted case descriptions in the nature of requests for additional information, in judgments about prognosis, in anticipated length of treatment, or in the importance of including families in treatment. While neither the social workers nor the psychologists responded significantly differently to adoption status, psychiatrists who received adopted cases were more likely to view both family psychopathology and unresolved psychosexual conflicts as factors of etiological importance in the clients' problems. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A