Changes in media coverage of adoption: a content analysis comparing newspaper coverage from 1992 and 2007

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A content analysis of newspaper articles about adoption of children was conducted. Several items were noted including mentions of all members of the adoption triad - birthparent, adopted child, and adoptive parent - and the valence of those mentions, and the type of adoption mentioned in the article. The results showed that the members of the triad were covered fairly equally and fairly, which differed from many studies in the literature review. One of the most interesting findings is in the change in coverage of international adoption. There was significantly more coverage in the 2007 time period compared with the 1992 time period. Future research should examine the relationship between foster care and adoption and how often that relationship is portrayed in the media. Also, research should be conducted that covers a longer time span to include a more varied sample in the types of articles. Further research is also needed to assess the use of negative adoption language. The results of a study of that nature will show subtle and perhaps unintentional negative bias in the reporting of adoption of children.

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