A qualitative exploration of how adopted children and their parents conceptualise mental health difficulties
journal contributionposted on 07.05.2015, 10:10 by Michelle J. O'Reilly, J. Bowlay-Williams, N. Svirydzenka, Panos Vostanis
Adopted children tend to have high levels of emotional, behavioural and developmental need and are more likely to present to a range of services, including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Although research exploring adopted children’s’ perspectives is growing, it remains limited. Furthermore, there has been little work t0 engage adopted children in research. Our project aimed to examine adopted children’s viewpoints of mental health and services alongside those of their adoptive carers. Results indicated that, although there were some similarities between carer and child perspectives, they also frequently differed. They provided different constructions of the problem but agreed that family relationships were strained. Some acknowledgement of the role of the school was offered and other external sources of support cited. Coping was considered to be complex and, while some issues were analogous to ‘normal’ family life, much was inherent to the adoption status.