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Research Study Concludes: Most Adopted Children Function Well Despite Early Trauma
University of the Rockies presents research findings at ATTACh Conference

Recent data reveals that, despite horrific early childhood trauma, most adopted youth function surprisingly well. Credit for their success is due, in part, to early and comprehensive neuropsychological examinations.

University of the Rockies doctoral student Amy Laird suggests that early and comprehensive examination results in more effective treatment planning, which contributes to their healthy outcome. She researched the topic extensively for her dissertation, which is titled “Are Early Neuropsychological Test Data Related to Behavioral Outcomes? A Follow-up Study of Foster and Adopted Children.”  

Laird’s research included long-term follow-up of complex youth adoptions, where the children suffered from early childhood developmental trauma. 

Laird’s research also indicates that adoptive parents are significant to the kids’ success.

“For successful outcomes, adoptive parents also need to ‘stay the course’ with their adopted youth, despite very challenging behavioral problems,” explains Dr. Steven Gray, who is a core faculty member at University of the Rockies and a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology. “Early neuropsychological exams enable psychologists to determine effective treatment plans. Adopted parents who refuse to ‘give up’ are needed to make sure that the treatment occurs.” 

Laird and Gray presented the data and findings at a half-day seminar during the 2012 ATTACh conference this past September in Baltimore, MD.


About University of the Rockies

University of the Rockies is an advanced graduate institution for tomorrow’s thought leaders. The University provides an intimate and dynamic learning environment, offering highly specialized master’s and doctoral degree programs in the social and behavioral sciences, access to industry experts, campus clinical programs for practical experience, and research and publishing opportunities. University of the Rockies is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association ( Small by design, University of the Rockies classes are presented in a progressive online format and at its Colorado Springs, Colorado, campus. For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 866.621.0124 x2513.