Adopted children and adolescents are at an increased risk of experiencing emotional, behavioural and relational difficulties compared to their non-adopted peers. This systematic review aimed to establish the effectiveness of interventions with adoptive parents on adopted children and adolescents' psychological well-being, behavioural functioning and parent-child relationship.
A systematic search was performed adhering to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA), including studies that assessed the effects of interventions with adoptive parents on adopted child and adolescent outcomes. Electronic databases, key journals, grey literature sources, reference and citation lists were searched and published authors in the field were contacted; 19 papers describing 15 interventions were included.
The findings from this review provide preliminary support for the use of interventions with adoptive parents for improving adopted children's emotional and behavioural outcomes. However, overall, the studies were found to have a high risk of bias, and the significant heterogeneity across the studies limits the conclusions that can be drawn. Further research is required to provide conclusive recommendations regarding the effectiveness of interventions with adoptive parents on the outcomes of adopted children.
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