Emotion Identification From Facial Expressions in Children Adopted Internationally Purpose Children adopted internationally who are exposed to institutional care receive less social interaction than children reared in families. These children spend their preadoptive life with individuals from their birth country and are adopted into families who may look and interact differently. The presumed patterns of limited social stimulation and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2014
Emotion Identification From Facial Expressions in Children Adopted Internationally
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Deborah A. Hwa-Froelich
    Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
  • Hisako Matsuo
    Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
  • Jenna C. Becker
    Frisco Independent School District, Frisco, TX
  • Disclosure: Deborah A. Hwa-Froelich is the author of Supporting Development in Internationally Adopted Children (published by Paul H. Brookes, 2012) and receives royalties from sales associated with this book.
    Disclosure: Deborah A. Hwa-Froelich is the author of Supporting Development in Internationally Adopted Children (published by Paul H. Brookes, 2012) and receives royalties from sales associated with this book.×
  • Correspondence to Deborah A. Hwa-Froelich: hwafroda@slu.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Cynthia Cress
    Associate Editor: Cynthia Cress×
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2014
Emotion Identification From Facial Expressions in Children Adopted Internationally
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2014, Vol. 23, 641-654. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-14-0009
History: Received January 15, 2014 , Revised May 2, 2014 , Accepted June 17, 2014
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2014, Vol. 23, 641-654. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-14-0009
History: Received January 15, 2014; Revised May 2, 2014; Accepted June 17, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose Children adopted internationally who are exposed to institutional care receive less social interaction than children reared in families. These children spend their preadoptive life with individuals from their birth country and are adopted into families who may look and interact differently. The presumed patterns of limited social stimulation and transition from ethnically similar to ethnically and culturally different social interactions may affect these children's ability to accurately identify emotions from facial expressions.

Method Thirty-five 4-year-old children adopted from Asia and Eastern Europe by U.S. families were compared with 33 nonadopted peers on the Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy, Version 2 (DANVA2) Faces subtests. Correlation and regression analyses were completed with preadoption (adoption age, foster care exposure), postadoption environment (postadoption care duration, number of siblings, socioeconomic status), and individual (chronological age, gender, language competence) variables to determine related and predictive variables.

Results The nonadopted group demonstrated better emotion identification than children internationally adopted, but no region-of-origin differences were found. English language performance was correlated with and predicted 20% of the variance in emotion identification of facial expressions on the DANVA2.

Conclusion Children adopted internationally who have stronger language ability tend to be more accurate in identifying emotions from facial expressions.

Acknowledgments
We thank several people who helped with this study: Janel Golden, Kristal Schuette, Jamie Brockmeier, and Kelsey Rosenquist. We also thank all the children and families for their participation in this study. Additionally, the review and suggestions provided by Sara C. Steele, PhD, are most appreciated.
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