Relation Problems in Internationally Adopted Juvenile Delinquents

  • Anna Elmund
  • Lennart Melin
  • Anne-Liis von Knorring
  • Lemm Proos
  • Torsten Tuvemo


Objective: Internationally adopted delinquents are overrepresented in juvenile Swedish institutions. With the purpose of investigating possible reasons for this overrepresentation, this study compared adopted delinquent adolescents and internationally adopted controls in the structure and functioning of their current relations, especially with their parents.

Methods: Internationally adopted adolescents admitted to institutional care (N=20) and non-delinquent internationally adopted controls (N=21) were compared through: a questionnaire; “family relations”, a subscale in I think I am; “Family climate” (from Karolinska Scale of Personality); Individual Schedule of Social Interaction; and an Attachment Test.

Results: Bad relations with adoptive parents were more prevalent in internationally adopted delinquents compared to internationally adopted controls. Furthermore, the adopted delinquents and their parents blamed each other for the problems and the adopted delinquents reported physical and emotional abuse.

Conclusions: Internationally adopted delinquents reported more problems in their relationships to their parents than adopted controls did.


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How to Cite
Elmund A., Melin L., von Knorring A.-L., Proos L., & Tuvemo T. (2009). Relation Problems in Internationally Adopted Juvenile Delinquents. Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, 112(1), 105-121.
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