Antecedents of Children's Adult Outcomes in the Texas Adoption Project


  • Jody L. Ernst is now at the Colorado League of Charter Schools.
    We are grateful to the Pioneer Fund for providing support for the mail study and to the members of the adoptive families for their continued participation in the Project. We thank Jennifer Clemens and Jeane Yo for their help in mailing and data entry.

concerning this article should be addressed to John C. Loehlin, Psychology Department, University of Texas, 1 University Station A8000, Austin, Texas, 78712-0187. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Four composite variables concerning life outcomes were derived from a brief mail questionnaire describing 478 adults, now in their 30s and 40s, who had participated as children in the Texas Adoption Project. Responses were obtained from the participants themselves, their parents, and their siblings. MMPI scores of the parental generation were correlated with the adult outcomes of their biologically related and unrelated children. The obtained correlations were low, but for the biological relationships positive parent adjustment went with positive life outcomes of their children, whereas for adoptive relationships the reverse was the case. Favorable MMPI scores from late adolescence were favorably related to adult outcomes, as were favorable personality ratings from childhood.