Marcovitch Article

Question #1: As noted in the reading, Marcovitch et al. (1997) found relatively low rates of secure attachment among children adopted from Romanian orphanages and their adoptive mothers. Specifically, they found that 30% of the adopted children were securely attached, compared to 42% of a comparison sample of biologically related (raised at home) mother?child pairs. [Full reference: Marcovitch, S. G., Gold, A., Washington, J., Wasson, C., Krekewich, K., & Handley-Derry, M. (1997). Determinants of behavioral problems in Romanian children adopted in Ontario. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 20(1), 17–31.] Note, however, that the authors do not provide a comparison sample of children adopted at birth (i.e., noninstitutionalized). Does this finding reflect something about adoption in general, or does it reflect something about institutionalization of infants?

Use this finding as an opportunity to reflect on your own beliefs and biases. Would you expect that adoptive children and their mothers would show different attachment patterns than children raised at home with their biological parents, assuming other variables (e.g., age and socioeconomic status of parents) are held constant? Would you predict adoptive parents to be more responsive to their children, less responsive, or equally responsive? After you consider and record your own beliefs, you may want to do a search of the literature on this topic to review some empirical data.

Question #2: The reading also cites a study by Chisholm et al. (1995) that indicated that children who had lived in an orphanage at least 8 months had lower scores on attachment security measures than did children who were adopted before 4 months of age. [Full reference: Chisholm, K., Carter, M., Ames, E. W., & Morison, S. J. (1995). Attachment security and indiscriminately friendly behavior in children adopted from Romanian orphanages. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 283?294.] How might this finding be related to the development of separation anxiety and fear of strangers?