Variables Associated with Attachment Security and Indiscriminate Friendliness in Chinese Adopted Children in the U.S.

Open Access
Liu, Yanhong
Graduate Program:
Counselor Education
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
May 20, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Richard Hazler, Dissertation Advisor
  • Richard Hazler, Committee Chair
  • Jerry G Trusty, Committee Member
  • Jolynn Carney, Committee Member
  • Jenae Marie Neiderhiser, Committee Member
  • Attachment security
  • indiscriminate friendliness
  • international adoption
  • parenting
  • institutionalization
The study investigated relationships between important variables and attachment security and indiscriminate friendliness presented by children adopted from China. The role of children’s age when adopted, children’s institutionalization experience prior to adoption, time spent with adoptive families, and parenting styles of adoptive parents were examined in predicting attachment security and indiscriminate friendliness respectively. Correlation between attachment security and indiscriminate friendliness was also checked to better understand relationship between the two constructs. Participants were 92 U.S. parents with children adopted from China (Means for children’s age were19-month-old when adopted and currently 80-month-old, or 6.5 years old). Results partially supported the hypotheses of the study. Higher attachment security scores were associated with higher level of authoritative parenting and lower level of permissive parenting as self-rated by parents (p < .01). Positive institutionalization experience children had prior to adoption was associated with better attachment security presented by children at a marginally significance level (p = .09). Children’s positive institutionalization experience prior to adoption predicted lower level of indiscriminate friendliness in children (p < .05). However, increase of time that children spent with adoptive families was not accompanied by a decrease in indiscriminate friendliness presented by adoptees at a marginally significance level (p = .05). No correlation between attachment security and indiscriminate friendliness was detected. Results of the study provide practical implications for adoptive parents with children from China and professional counselors working with parents and adoptees. The study also offers evidences for counseling practices in cultivating secure attachment and understanding/addressing indiscriminate friendliness in adoptees. It sheds lights on future research pertaining development of the population.