Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Gordon Finley

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Scott Fraser

Third Advisor's Name

Patricia Telles-Irvin

Date of Defense



Secondary analysis of 581 adoptees was utilized to determine if parental age is related, either genetically or environmentally, to the development of psychopathology.

The significant results showed that proband adoptees (with psychopathology in biologic relatives) with younger birthparents had increased alcohol abuse and those with younger birthfathers had increased antisocial personality while adoptees with older birthparents had increased depression. Analyses on control adoptees (with background free of known genetic disturbances) showed that those with younger adoptive mothers had increased antisocial personality and drug abuse and those with younger adoptive fathers had increased antisocial personality while adoptees with older adoptive fathers had increased depression.

Implications of these findings are that adoptees with both younger birth and adoptive parents are more likely to have externalizing symptoms, while adoptees with both older birth and adoptive parents are more like to have internalizing symptoms. This information is beneficial to those involved in adoption placement.




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