Romanian Adoptees and Pre-adoptive Care: A Strengths Perspective

Sue Pearlmutter, Rhode Island College
Scott D. Ryan, Florida State University
Lisa B. Johnson, Kennesaw State University
Victor Groza, Case Western Reserve University


Ninety-one parents of 120 adopted Romanian children who were part of a longitudinal study were surveyed to determine perceptions of their relationships with their children, their adoption experiences, and the children’s strengths. The Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale (BERS) was used and parents were easily able to rate their children’s emotional and behavioral strengths. Levels of parent–child relationship satisfaction were the most consistent predictors of child emotional and behavioral strength. The child’s age at the time of the survey was a significant predictor of strengths, indicating overall that younger children had more perceived strengths. Parents identified fewer strengths among children with longer histories of institutional care. The importance of a strong parent–child relationship and resilience after a history of early institutional care are discussed.