What Influence Do Adopted Children Have on Their Parents?
The Early Growth and Development Study, or EGDS, is a prospective adoption study that was conducted over a long term, launched by a psychiatrist from Yale. The study’s goal was to find out what influence adopted children have on their parents. Some of the results were surprising.
Shifting the Focus
When it comes to child-parent relationships, most people think of how parents influence their children first. But according to the EGDS’s findings, it may be just as important to consider the reverse, particularly in adopted children. EDGS has been around since 1994 and is still ongoing.
New data has confirmed that genetics play a major role in these relationships, and they are anything but one-sided. Researchers’ findings bear some indication that an understanding of this relationship from both angles can be helpful in resolving family disputes and living harmoniously together.
Four Key Findings
The findings that EGDS investigators made over the course of these studies fall into four overall categories. The first is that the genetic makeup of a child may stir up specific types of responses from the parents. The second is that a child’s genetics play a part in what they need from their parents.
Thirdly, according to the EGDS’s findings, the genetic makeup of a child will have an influence on the way they interact with their parents. It is particularly the case with the pattern in relationships or behavior commonly referred to as “a downward spiral.” This works like a negative feedback loop where each person’s bad reaction fuels the other person’s, and the situation worsens exponentially with each interaction.
The data from this project showed how adoptive children’s genetics can make or break these unhealthy and highly compelling patterns. Depending on what their genetic makeup is, it may work to either speed up the cycle or effectively undo it.
The fourth and final finding from the compilation of research involved corroboration with some of the most critical responsibilities that parents have.
Some of the findings from these studies in the EGDS might seem like common sense. For instance, if the child is generally happy and pleasant, they’re much less likely to elicit negative reactions from their parents. However, the data dives deeper and provides more specific insights, such as the fact that these negative or positive reactions are likely to be more pronounced when they come from the father figure.
But if the child is genetically predisposed to anxiety or depression, for instance, these downward spirals of parent-child interactions are much more likely to occur. The studies also show that once families are caught up in these habits, the child’s genetics will likely exacerbate and accelerate this cycle.
The research indicates that there is valuable information to be learned by looking at the genetic predispositions of the child’s birth parents, especially if you’re an adoptive parent working with a New Jersey adoption attorney. According to these findings, whether or not the parents had strong social connections or if they tended towards less healthy mental habits and patterns of activities plays a key role in the family life that their biological children will have.
Process of Elimination
Studies like the EGDS benefit from the adoption component built into the design. Thanks to this fact, researchers were able to rule out common genes that are shared between parents and their children since that can’t be a cause of associations between the child and the rearing parents.
When rearing parents exhibit symptoms like depression and anxiety, it can have an effect on the anxiety, depression, and other behavioral issues in the child. This suggests that there is an environmental aspect of the behavioral phenomenon. However, since the symptoms of depression seen in birth parents were also related to the behavior issues that their child struggles with, it seems to researchers that this environmental component goes along with some degree of genetic influence.
Contact the law offices of Cofsy & Zeidman today for a New Jersey adoption attorney who will help with your case. We serve New Jersey and Pennsylvania. You can reach Donald Cofsky at (856) 429-5005.