Dalen, Theie & Rygvold (2020): School adjustment of internationally adopted children in primary school: A mother and teacher approach
I: Children and Youth Services Review, Online first
The study examined school adjustment among 119 internationally adopted children in Norway. School adjustment included two main dimensions; school motivation and relationship in school. In the first part of the study, school adjustment was assessed by teachers among adopted and non-adopted children in first and third grade. In the second part, school adjustment assessed by mothers and teachers of adopted children were compared. The findings documented a significant decrease in school motivation from first to third grade among adopted children but not among non-adopted. Among non-adopted children there was a significant decrease in hyperactive behaviour which was not the case for adopted children. Although there were some differences in mothers’ and teachers’ assessments of adopted children, there was a significant decrease in their assessments of school motivation. The same decrease was not found for relationship in school.
Hyperactive behaviour and language skills interfere with school motivation both in mothers’ and teachers’ assessments. Adopted children with less hyperactive behavior and a good command of the Norwegian language, had better school motivation. These outcomes could indicate that internationally adopted children meet greater academic challenges at higher grade levels in school due to their language difficulties and hyperactive behavior.