Adoptees' curiosity and information-seeking about birth parents in emerging adulthood: Context, motivation, and behavior

Gretchen Miller Wrobel, Harold D. Grotevant, Diana R. Samek, Lynn Von Korff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The Adoption Curiosity Pathway (ACP) model was used to test the potential mediating effect of curiosity on adoption information-seeking in a sample of 143 emerging adult adoptees (mean age = 25.0 years) who were adopted as infants within the United States by parents of the same race. Adoptees were interviewed about their intentions and actions taken to gather new information about their birth mothers and fathers. As expected, level of curiosity was positively associated with information-seeking behavior. Moreover, level of curiosity was influenced by adoptees' perceptions of barriers and facilitators toward information-seeking. In fact, curiosity partially mediated the impact of internal and external barriers on information-seeking about birth mothers. Curiosity fully mediated the impact of external barriers and partially mediated external facilitators on birth father information-seeking. This study provides important support for the ACP, which describes context, motivation, and behavior relating to seeking new adoption-related information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-450
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the adoptive family members who generously shared their experiences as part of the Minnesota / Texas Adoption Research Project. Thanks to Rachel Farr for providing comments on an earlier draft of this article. Funding was provided by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, grant R01-HD-049859, National Science Foundation, grant BCS-0443590, and William T. Grant Foundation, grant 7146.


  • adoption
  • curiosity
  • emerging adult
  • information-seeking

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