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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