Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Denise Malis



This literature review examines the challenges facing adopted adolescents and their impact on identity development, as well as art therapy interventions used with this population. Adoptees make up very little of the population yet are seen in mental health settings at a disproportionate rate. Despite the obvious need, little adoption-competent help is available. Developing more adoption-competent services requires an understanding of the unique challenges facing adoptees, one of those being identity development. Adopted teens must integrate their full histories and current emotions to achieve successful identity development. By reviewing relevant literature and therapeutic approaches to identity and adoptees, it is concluded that art therapy, specifically creating life books, is an advantageous approach for this population and the question of identity. Outlined is a recommended method of life book making with adolescent adoptees that aims to support identity development.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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