False Belief Performance of Children Adopted Internationally Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore relationships among adoption, individual, and family variables on false belief performance of children adopted internationally (CAI). Method Using a quasiexperimental design, thirty-five 4-year-old children adopted from Asian and Eastern European countries before age 2 years were compared with a ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2017
False Belief Performance of Children Adopted Internationally
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Deborah A. Hwa-Froelich
    Saint Louis University, MO
  • Hisako Matsuo
    Saint Louis University, MO
  • Kristal Jacobs
    Saint Louis University, MO
    Kaskaskia Special Education District 801, Centralia, IL
  • Disclosure: Deborah A. Hwa-Froelich receives royalties associated with the sale of the book cited in the acknowledgments. The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: Deborah A. Hwa-Froelich receives royalties associated with the sale of the book cited in the acknowledgments. The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Deborah A. Hwa-Froelich: hwafroda@slu.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Carol Miller
    Associate Editor: Carol Miller×
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2017
False Belief Performance of Children Adopted Internationally
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2017, Vol. 26, 29-43. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0152
History: Received September 23, 2015 , Revised January 29, 2016 , Accepted May 11, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2017, Vol. 26, 29-43. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0152
History: Received September 23, 2015; Revised January 29, 2016; Accepted May 11, 2016

Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore relationships among adoption, individual, and family variables on false belief performance of children adopted internationally (CAI).

Method Using a quasiexperimental design, thirty-five 4-year-old children adopted from Asian and Eastern European countries before age 2 years were compared with a U.S. group of 33 nonadopted 4-year-old children on a standardized English-language measure, 3 false belief tasks, and a go/no-go inhibition measure.

Results The adopted group differed significantly from the U.S. nonadopted group in expressive language and false belief performance. For the adopted group, inhibition measures were significantly correlated with core language scores. Core language scores and number of older siblings predicted false belief performance.

Conclusions Similar to children who are not adopted, language competence and living with older siblings positively influenced social understanding in CAI. Because CAI experience interrupted language acquisition and live with fewer older siblings, they are at risk of having weaker language competence and social understanding in their adopted language. When working with CAI, practitioners should assess social communication, language competence, and inhibition skills. They should assist adoptive families in providing socially mentored opportunities for their children to observe and interact with older children.

Acknowledgments
Some of the data used to describe the sample were published previously in Hwa-Froelich, D. A., Matsuo, H., & Becker, J. R. (2014) . Emotion identification from facial expressions in children adopted internationally. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 21, 641–654. Some of the data have been shared at the annual meeting of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the International Conference for Adoption Research, and the Canadian Speech Pathology-Audiology conference, as well as in chapters in the following books: Hwa-Froelich, D. A. (2012) . Supporting development in internationally adopted children. Baltimore, MD: Brookes. Hwa-Froelich, D. A. (Ed). 2014 . Social communication development and disorders. New York, NY: Psychology Press. The first author would like to acknowledge the financial support she received from the Saint Louis University Beaumont faculty Development Fund for this project. The data analyses and the specific findings reported in this article were not shared in any of these presentations or publications.
We thank Jenna R. Becker, Janel Golden, and Jamie Brockmeier Schnieders for their work on this research project. We also appreciate the time and energy the children and families gave to willingly participate in this project. Last, we acknowledge Sara C. Steele for her constructive comments toward the improvement of this article.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access