Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Gokce Durmusoglu (Committee Member), Allison Fernander (Committee Chair), Michelle Schultz (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


A significant amount of children are adopted each year both within the United States and internationally. In fact, the United States Department of State reported that 242,602 international adoptions had taken place from 1999 to 2012 and also indicated that in 2012 alone, 52,035 children had been adopted domestically. However, research is lacking in many areas of the adoption process. One such area includes an absence of knowledge in regards to adoption evaluations, even though they may be required for both prospective parents and adoptive children during the adoption process. Another area includes how psychological instruments are incorporated into these evaluations. Because of this, there are no clear recommendations for a specific battery of psychological instruments that assessors can use during adoption evaluations. 38 licensed psychologists who have experience evaluating prospective parents and adoptive children were surveyed to better understand the components of psychological evaluations in the adoption field, including which psychological instruments were most frequently used. Results indicated that respondents spent an average of 8.26 hours (SD 3.89) on a single adoption evaluation, with the majority of respondents using psychological instruments as their primary data source (35.0%). Respondents indicated that adequate reliability (M=4.61 out of 5, SD=.60) and adequate validity (M=4.56 out of 5, SD=.65) were the two most important factors when selecting psychological instruments. When assessing prospective parents, it was found that the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Second Edition (MMPI-2) was the most often used instrument. 84.6% of participants reported that they use or have used this instrument. When assessing adoptive children, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV) was the most often used instrument. 75% of respondents indicated that they use or have used this instrument. Based on the results, a preliminary battery of tests is recommended for use with prospective parents and a preliminary battery of instruments is recommended for use with adoptive children. Additionally, suggestions are made for other important components to include in adoption evaluations, along with recommendations for future research studies.

Page Count


Department or Program

School of Professional Psychology

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Psychology Commons