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OC HIGH / STUDENT NEWS AND VIEWS : Adopted Teens

July 15, 1994| Associated Press

The earlier the adoption, the better a child does in adolescence, according to a recent study of teens adopted when they were babies. The study casts doubt on the belief that adopted teen-agers are more likely to be troubled than others their age.

The four-year, $1-million study, described as the largest U.S. study of adoptive babies, focused on children who were less than 15 months old when they were adopted between 1974 and 1980. About 2,000 members of 715 families were questioned.

"What seems particularly important is how parents deal with adoption," said study co-author Peter Benson, a psychologist. "In families that are thriving, adoption is a fact of life that is accepted and affirmed, not dwelt on. It's no big deal."

Only 27% of the 881 adopted teens surveyed said being adopted "is a big part of how I think of myself."

The study also showed that the adopted teens were slightly less likely to engage in "high-risk health behavior," such as substance abuse and early sex.

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