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The Early Growth and Development Study: A Prospective Adoption Design

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Leslie D. Leve*
Affiliation:
Oregon Social Learning Center, Eugene, Oregon, United States of America. lesliel@oslc.org
Jenae M. Neiderhiser
Affiliation:
Center for Family Research, George Washington University, Washington DC, United States of America.
Xiaojia Ge
Affiliation:
Department of Human and Community Development, University of California, Davis, California, United States of America.
Laura V. Scaramella
Affiliation:
University of New Orleans, Department of Psychology, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America.
Rand D. Conger
Affiliation:
Department of Human and Community Development, University of California, Davis, California, United States of America.
John B. Reid
Affiliation:
Oregon Social Learning Center, Eugene, Oregon, United States of America.
Daniel S. Shaw
Affiliation:
University of Pittsburgh, Department of Psychology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
David Reiss
Affiliation:
Center for Family Research, George Washington University, Washington DC, United States of America.
*
*Address for correspondence: Leslie D. Leve, Oregon Social Learning Center, 10 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Eugene, OR 97401-4928, USA.

Abstract

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The Early Growth and Development Study is a prospective adoption study of birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted children (N = 359 triads) that was initiated in 2003. The primary study aims are to examine how family processes mediate or moderate the expression of genetic influences in order to aid in the identification of specific family processes that could serve as malleable targets for intervention. Participants in the study are recruited through adoption agencies located throughout the United States, following the birth of a child. Assessments occur at 6-month intervals until the child reaches 3 years of age. Data collection includes the following primary constructs: infant and toddler temperament, social behavior, and health; birth and adoptive parent personality characteristics, psychopathology, competence, stress, and substance use; adoptive parenting and marital relations; and prenatal exposure to drugs and maternal stress. Preliminary analyses suggest the representativeness of the sample and minimal confounding effects of current trends in adoption practices, including openness and selective placement. Future plans are described.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007
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