"Instead of growing under her heart, I grew in it": The relationship between adoption entrance narratives and adoptees' self-concept

Haley Kranstuber, Jody Koenig Kellas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Adoptees are partially or entirely disconnected from those involved in their birth stories, so adoptive families create adoption entrance narratives to fill that void. Scholars assert that these narratives impact adopted child well-being later in life, but that assumption has yet to be empirically tested. The goal of this study was to examine themes emerging from adoption entrance narratives (n=105), and to then determine the impact of story content on adoptees' self-concept. Seven themes emerged: openness, deception, chosen child, fate, difference, rescue, and reconnection. Results indicate the salience of the chosen child, negative reconnection, and difference themes significantly predicted differences in adoptees' self-concept.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-199
Number of pages21
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011



  • Adoption
  • Adoption entrance narratives
  • Adoptive families
  • Birth story
  • Narrative theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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